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Fully legal from July 1, disc brakes on tap for many Tour teams

By VeloNews.com • Updated
EF Education First-Drapac has been riding a few different Cannondale bikes with disc brakes so far in 2018. Photo: Luc Claessen | Getty Images

Included among a number of reforms announced as part of the UCI’s “Agenda 2022” was the announcement that disc brakes will be officially legal for road (and BMX) use starting on July 1 of this year.

The UCI began a trial of the technology in 2015, allowing teams to race on disc brakes in UCI-sanctioned events after years of debate. That trial period is now coming to an end as an apparent success.

“Following nearly three years of tests, and in agreement with various stakeholders – teams, riders, mechanics, fans, commissaires, and the bicycle industry via the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFGSGI) — the decision has been taken to authorize disc brakes for road and BMX Racing, as of 1st July this year,” reads the UCI’s statement on the organization new agenda.

“Point 1.3.025 of the UCI Regulations will be amended to this effect, to allow the use of disc brakes during training and competitions for road and BMX Racing, as is already the case for cyclo-cross, mountain bike, trials and mass participation events.”

As there is no longer a concern of disc brakes phasing back out of legality following the trial period, fans can expect to see teams ramping up their usage of discs in the near future.

Plenty of notable riders and teams are relying on disc brakes at the upcoming Tour de France.

Trek-Segafredo riders have been spotted on discs throughout this season already, and the team has stated that the trend will continue through the Tour de France, at least during the road stages of the race. Several other WorldTour outfits will likely have riders on discs — depending on the stage — as well.

EF Education First-Drapac confirmed to VeloNews this week that it will have multiple riders on discs on a stage-by-stage basis, with the cobbled stage 9 to Roubaix an obvious opportunity for the U.S.-based team to rely on the improved braking capability.

The same goes for the likes of BMC Racing and Katusha-Alpecin, with some riders likely opting for disc brakes depending on the terrain. According to Katusha, notables Tony Martin and Ilnur Zakarin are both confirmed to be planning on a disc setup for multiple road stages.

Team Sky, meanwhile, headlines the list of WorldTour outfits steering clear of disc brakes during the Tour de France — Chris Froome’s squad plans to stick with tried-and-true rim brakes, at least through July.

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