Setback for Kimmage film as Independent.ie crew's equipment stolen at Tour de France
Sunday Independent journalist Paul Kimmage has revealed his "deep disappointment" after €9,000 worth of laptops and other equipment were stolen from his film crew while they watched the start of the Tour de France.
Legions of cycling fans will also lose out as the theft means his daily video diary from Le Tour, which began last week on Independent.ie, will not appear today.
Three Apple MacBook laptops and an SLR camera were taken from the film crew from Wildfire Productions prior to the start of the first stage of the Tour de France in Corsica on Saturday morning.
As well as the video diary, the film crew are currently shooting cycling documentary 'Rough Rider' with Kimmage ahead of its release later this year.
Thieves broke into the camper van they were using and made off with the crucial equipment.
"We had parked the two camper vans we had travelled in and went down to the start. But when the crew returned to the camper after the stage had started they noticed something wasn't right," former cyclist Mr Kimmage told the Irish Independent.
"One of them opened the door and he noticed a copy of my book on the floor and thought, 'God, that's odd'.
"He started looking around and he saw his rucksack was on the floor and he realised pretty quickly that the van had been burgled.
"They took three Macs and an SLR camera. A computer bag with other bits and pieces in it was also taken but we haven't lost any footage. They literally came in, looked around for what was valuable, grabbed it and cleared off."
The crew have shadowed the former professional cyclist for the past 18 months, including during the period of Lance Armstrong's downfall after he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs.
The fly-on-the-wall style production was already running very tight on budget, but Mr Kimmage said they are hopeful that their insurance will cover the cost of the thefts.
"To say it's disappointing is an understatement.
"It is a big setback, but it could be worse. Hopefully we get to Nice and we can sort something out from there."
Kimmage is detested by many in the sport, led by Armstrong, and has spent the last 22 years fighting to rid the sport of doping.
You can view the video diaries by Paul Kimmage at www.independent.ie/kimmage