A Mount Maunganui champion mountain biker was reunited with his stolen bike after it was spotted outside the Tauranga courthouse.
Angus Riordan's Giant Anthem mountain bike, worth about $6000, was one of three bikes stolen from outside Event Cinemas in Mount Maunganui about 6pm on Sunday.
The 15-year-old had cycled to the cinema with two of his friends on Sunday afternoon to see the movie Venom.
The trio secured their mountain bikes with combination locks up against a rail outside. But when the movie finished about an hour and a half later, the locks were cut and the bikes were gone.
"I was a bit worried about locking it up and when I saw it was gone I was kicking myself," he said. "I should have walked instead of riding my bike."
Angus' stolen bike was the one he had ridden on Saturday to win the North Island School Mountain Bike Championships Under-17 division at Summer Hill for the first time and he said he was "angry" at the loss.
Luckily, the bike was spotted outside the Tauranga courthouse yesterday morning by a friend's parents - in time to prepare for his next big race in two weeks' time.
The other two stolen bikes were also found outside the court.
It was a devastating loss coming so soon after Saturday's big win and he was pleased to get it back so quickly.
Tauranga Mountain Bike youth and junior academy coach Tristan Haycock said he encouraged his riders to work hard to save and gain sponsorship for their bikes and Angus' training would have been interrupted had he been left without a bike.
"It upsets your rhythm," he said.
Haycock said Angus was a promising rider who had an eye on making it to the world championships.
"He has potential to make it to the Olympics if he wanted to... he is going places," he said.
"Gus has showed potential and promise in the last few years and has a good attitude towards riding. He is a good role model."
A police media spokeswoman confirmed three bikes had been reported stolen from outside the cinema in Mount Maunganui about 8pm on Sunday and said they were making inquiries.
North Island School Mountain Bike Championships:
- Angus was one of 23 Tauranga Mountain Bike youth academy riders in Saturday's competition.
- Luke Kivell claimed third place in the Under-17 boys' division
- Poppy Lane taking second in the U13 division