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Lawyers from rider organization Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) have sent a “legal warning” to the Union Cycliste International (UCI) on the issue of disc brakes in pro racing.
The letter reiterates the CPA’s position that the UCI did not properly vet disc brake technology, and states that the UCI is responsible for any “damage or accident that should happen to the riders.” The statement references EU employment law that requires employers to a safe working environment for workers.
“With the Equipment Commission we tried in every way the path of dialogue through the repeated letters and meetings we had,” said Gianni Bugno, president of the CPA, via the statement. “Now we feel compelled to act in a stronger way to be heard. As we have always said we are not against the disc brakes but against the non-implementation of the security measures that the majority of the riders asked before making the tests on the disc brakes in the races.”
The CPA called on the UCI, once again, to reevaluate its position on discs and suspend the current test period.
It’s not clear, however, if the statute referenced by the CPA, EEC 89/391, could actually be used against the UCI, which does not employ pro cyclists and is thus not subject to laws governing the employer/employee relationship. Pro cyclists are employed by their respective teams, which are independently owned.
When asked for comment, the CPA reiterated its stance that the UCI must ensure that riders work in safe conditions. Its legal team was not immediately available for further explanation. The UCI was not immediately available for comment, or to confirm that it received the letter.
The CPA’s letter follows another alleged incident involving disc brakes. At the Abu Dhabi Tour last week, Owain Doull claimed that his shoe had been sliced in a crash with Marcel Kittel, who was riding discs at the time. Though that claim has been disputed, Kittel used a bike with regular rim brakes for the remainder of the race.