ONE of the world’s top mountain bike racers has been left counting the cost of an overnight stay in the Capital - after thieves made off with his rare bike.
Californian Aaron Gwin, who has held a string of top titles, was heading to an event in Fort William when his team opted to break their journey in the city.
It is believe the M29 large race bike - which costs £7,000 before any special modifications for professional competition - was taken from a trailer hitched to his team van.
Insiders say Gwin was ‘horrified’ at the loss while bosses at his Intense Factory team have offered a reward for the bike’s return.
In a social media message, they urged: “Please be on the lookout for Aaron Gwin’s M29 large race bike stolen from team van in Edinburgh last night. Cash reward for return.”
Gwin, 31, who has been Downhill World Cup champion five times and US national champ eight times, used the bike to compete recently in Maribor, Slovenia.
A source told the Evening News: “It would be like someone nicking Lewis Hamilton’s car before an F1 race, Aaron might have some spare parts, but that is his number one bike gone.”
“The world championships are in Fort William this weekend, so it will be really interesting to see what happens.”
He added: “Aaron is to mountain biking what Cristiano Ronaldo is to football and he has only recently joined the Intense Factory Racing team, for this to happen in Edinburgh is a really big deal for the sport.”