Riders’ association protests disc brake usage without further safety measures

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Disc brakes may be back in use this season after the UCI relaxed temporary constraints on their usage, but the riders’ association CPA is not satisfied.

The body has protested the reintroduction of the devices via its president Gianni Bugno, who told the UCI Equipment commission that the majority of riders are not in favour with their use without previously-requested safety conditions.

In a letter sent by Bugno to the UCI Commission, the CPA said that riders required discs edges to be rounded and to be fitted with a safety guard. These measures are presumably intended to prevent cutting and/or burning risks in the event of a crash.

The third requirement is that all the riders should use the new system at the same time, thus removing the possibility that some will have more efficient braking systems than others.

While the first requirement has already been met, the other two have not been implemented. The CPA states that some solutions are under consideration for request two, but that no satisfactory answer has been given for the third.

“At this point, there is a reason to believe that it is not yet time to start these tests,” said Bugno in his letter.

“As we have said several times, we are not against the technological innovation, but we are worried above all by the safety of the riders on the road.”

Bugno, a former professional rider who won two world championships, has protested that some riders are already using such systems even though the equipment commission is still working to improve their safety.

“We believe that the riders will finally agree and that at the end they will be happy to use these new technologies in the race, but only once the preventive safety measures that have been requested will be carried out,” he said.

“We also asked that all the riders will be able to use a bicycle with disc brakes as soon as possible for the training. It would be ridiculous to test such equipment for the first time in the race.

“This first step seems to me logical and indisputable in the process, if we want to put this new system in place in our sport.”

The initial disc brake trial began in 2015. However a crash during last year’s Paris-Roubaix saw Movistar rider Fran Ventoso injured. He publicly claimed that the leg laceration he suffered was caused by a disc brake rotor, causing the UCI to abandon the trial use of such equipment.

A forensic study later commissioned by the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry concluded that a chainring was more likely the cause of the injury. Disc brake systems were given the go ahead again last October, with their use green-lighted from January.

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