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You couldn’t make it up.

Two days before the Tour de France arrived in Sheffield, my bike was stolen from where it was locked to a city centre cycle stand.

As Tour reporter for The Star this was deeply ironic, as well as gutting.

The bike had been loaned to cover the build-up to the race but had become much more than that – I was a convert.

Police have said that CCTV cameras on Devonshire Green were either pointing the wrong way or broken at the time, so effectively the case is closed .

But the crime inspired a Freedom of Information request.

Through today’s front page it shows just how many bikes have been reported stolen in Sheffield – 28 on Tour weekend alone – and how few recovered.

Some were taken by organised gangs, using social media to pinpoint especially valuable models.

It is clearly an easy stream of cash. Bikes are easy to take and sell – but hard to trace.

More needs to be done to give cyclists safe places to park bikes, and to crack down on thefts.

We can’t stop every lowlife from taking what doesn’t belong to them.

But let’s at least make it difficult.

By Ellen Beardmore