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Roubaix injury prompts UCI to halt disc brake trial

The UCI’s efforts to introduce disc brakes to professional road racing took a hit Wednesday when Francisco Ventoso penned an open letter detailing a horrific injury he suffered in Paris-Roubaix, due to a disc brake rotor. After a day of intense scrutiny, the UCI announced Thursday it will halt its trial of discs in the pro road peloton.

“This decision follows a request to do so made by the Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels (AIGCP) — which represents all professional cycling teams — following the injuries suffered by Movistar Team rider Francisco Ventoso at Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix Classic. This request is supported by the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), which represents riders,” the statement reads.

Late on Wednesday, Norwegian cycling site Procycling.no cited the president of the UCI’s Equipment Commission, Harald Tiedemann Hansen, in his support of a request to halt the use of disc brakes in pro road racing. The request came from riders’ organization Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA). But at that time, the UCI would not issue a formal statement on the matter.

Where do we go from here? The UCI’s statement didn’t specify whether it aimed to reintroduce discs by a certain date.

“The UCI will now continue its extensive consultations on this subject by way of its Equipment Commission, which is made up of representatives of teams, riders, mechanics, fans, commissaires and the bicycle industry — via the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) — all the while reaffirming that rider security has always been and will always remain its absolute priority.”

For now, the technology looks to be stalled after merely a few months of racing trials, which began in August 2015 and were undertaken with tepid interest by pro teams.

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