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by Shane Stokes
April 14, 2016
Photography by Cor Vos
In the wake of an accident which left Paris-Roubaix participation Fran Ventoso with a serious leg laceration, the UCI has reportedly taken the move to suspend the use of disc brakes in the peloton.
According to Norwegian publication Procycling.no, the governing body has decided to put the equipment on the sideline pending a review of the situation.
The decision follows an open letter – and gruesome images – from Ventoso, which put the blame for his injury squarely on the discs.
“We have asked the UCI to suspend the use of disc brakes, and they will probably do it,” stated Laura Mora to the publication. She is the press officer of the international pro rider association CPA.
This was confirmed by Harald Tiedemann Hansen, who is the president of the UCI’s equipment commission. He said the UCI had taken the decision to act.
Mora acknowledged the decision.
“We have just received support from the equipment commission,” she said. “We’ve talked about the risks of using disc brakes for several months and had sent a letter to the UCI and the organizers to avoid such risks. Now we have finally been heard.”
In his open letter, Ventoso said that discs as they currently are represent too big a danger.
“The most worrying thing, as I stated before, is that disc brakes in its actual concept are giant knives, ‘machetes’ when crashing against or crashed by them at a certain speed. And in some points, we reach 80, 90, 100 kilometres per hour.
“I’ve been lucky: I didn’t get my leg chopped off, it’s just some muscle and skin. But can you imagine that disc cutting a jugular or a femoral artery? I would prefer not to.”
He has called on the riders to stand together and to demand a solution.
Mora said that the CPA isn’t against the use of discs in the future, but said that there needs to be a rethink.
“We will not stop progress, but we will find common solutions for the introduction of new technologies without the risk of riders, and definitely with their involvement.”
Some have said that it is possible to add guards to prevent direct contact with the discs. These would guard riders against the sort of laceration that Ventoso said happened to him because of the brakes.