Tour de France

Sagan commits to disc brakes, but not on Roubaix stage

Three-time world champion Peter Sagan will be racing on disc brakes throughout the 2018 Tour de France, with one exception.

Three-time world champion Peter Sagan will be racing on disc brakes throughout the 2018 Tour de France, with one exception.

The Bora-Hansgrohe captain and defending Paris-Roubaix champion will stick with what he knows over the cobblestones in stage 9 ending in Roubaix.

“With the disc brakes now, the handling is just amazing,” Sagan said Friday. “You don’t know what’s going to happen in the Roubaix stage. It will be safer with rim brakes.”

Sagan said he will be racing on disc brakes throughout the Tour, but he is making an exception for the Roubaix stage because of concerns about swapping out wheels in case of a puncture or other mechanicals. Wheel changes can be a bit slower with disc brake-mounted wheels, but that concern is compounded over the cobblestones when punctures are more likely and chaos between team and neutral support ramps up out on the road.

Otherwise, Sagan said he is firmly committed to disc brakes in road racing.

“I was racing at the Tour de Suisse with the disc brakes, and I can say it’s a big advantage,” he said. “There is a big difference [with braking] compared to the rim brakes.”

With disc brakes now officially allowed within the peloton, teams across the race are embracing the new braking system. Last summer, Marcel Kittel won stage 2 in a sprint to become the first racer to win a Tour de France stage with disc brakes.

Specialized-backed teams have already been racing with disc brakes since last year.

“You have more control when you are braking with the top speed,” Sagan said. “You have control on the speed and the bike, especially in the wet.”

The three-time world champ and defending Paris-Roubaix winner will be one of the top favorites to win over the cobbles on stage 9.