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Tom Boonen’s 113th pro win wasn’t entirely remarkable at face value, but it stood apart because of the bike he rode — a bike equipped with disc brakes. Although disc brakes have been introduced to the pro road peloton in fits and starts, Tuesday marked the first time (we believe) that a UCI pro road race was won on discs.
Based on his gushing Instagram post, it seems Boonen was pleased with both the win and the bike.
In early 2016, riders began riding disc-brake bikes at pro races, part of the UCI’s trial period for the technology. The trial was suspended, however, when then Movistar rider Fran Ventoso crashed at Paris-Roubaix and said that a disc brake rotor was the cause of a serious gash on his lower leg. Ventoso blasted the discs as “giant knives, ‘machetes.’” Ahead of 2017, the UCI decided to restart the disc brake trial, but a leaked poll, conducted by the CPA riders association indicated that interest was lukewarm at best among the pro cyclists who responded.