Hugo Hofstetter and his busted helmet

A sliced helmet and 45 stitches: Two pros caught in separate disc brake incidents

Gavin Mannion says his cuts were so clean 'it was almost like the rotor burned through it'.

by Jonny Long

photography by Hugo Hofstetter


It’s a bad PR week for disc brakes as two separate pros were involved in rotor-related incidents that required medical attention.

After some totting up, the rap sheet amounts to one sliced helmet, 45 stitches and 12 staples.

Hugo Hofstetter of Arkéa-Samsic posted some slightly gruesome images of his ear, which looked like he’d offered it up for someone to practice embroidery on, after he crashed at the French stage race Circuit de la Sarthe.

“There’s nothing we can do about it,” Hofstetter said forlornly to Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace after crashing head-first onto a disc brake, his Ekoi helmet sporting a large gash in the side of it. “I received around thirty stitches in my right ear, at least 35, and two in my right hand at Le Mans hospital.”

 “When will the UCI put protections [in] for disc brakes? It would have saved me 35 stitches?”

“Hugo, it seems that putting protections in is not possible!” replied former rider and sports director Cyrille Guimard on Twitter. “Already without a cover, the discs take too much temperature in the long descents. So without the possibility of cooling, you would lose all braking efficiency.”

Gavin Mannion, who rides for ProTeam Human Powered Health, also required stitches after a crash where he came into contact with a disc brake.

“Both crashes were pretty minor except the fact that I landed on a hot rotor,” Mannion told CyclingTips. “For one, I needed eight stitches in the front of my knee, and for the other, I needed 12 staples in my hip. The cuts were so clean it was almost like the rotor burned through it.”

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