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Tom Boonen to race on disc brakes in 2017

Josh Cunningham
23 Jan 2017

Belgian to start the season on a Specialized Venge ViAS Disc

Tom Boonen is not holding back in his praise for disc brakes, telling Cyclingnews 'It's the biggest improvement I've seen in my career on bikes, so it would be stupid not to use it.'

'I had a Tarmac with discs at home last year and trained on it a lot, still with quick release, then I had the new Roubaix with the thru-axles,' he said. 'Then at training camp in December I was for the first time on the Venge – the real race bike – and I decided to go for it.' 

Boonen is currently in Argentina to begin his season at the Vuelta a San Juan, and will be remaining on the Venge ViAS Disc for most of the spring, but its not yet clear whether he'll be using the aero Venge or handlebar-suspended Roubaix for the cobbles - namely Paris-Roubaix, where the Belgian will hope to get a record fifth victory.

According to Boonen disc brakes work better, are easier to control, and don't lock out as easily as normal brakes. 'With disc brakes you have so much more feeling. It's the biggest improvement I've seen in my career – I don't know what all the hassle is about.'

After being launched initially in late 2015, the UCI's disc brake trial was promptly suspended in April the following year following a crash at Paris-Roubaix that caused concerns about the potential safety issues of disc brake use in the peloton. The UCI has re-introduced the trial for 2017, and as of January 1st teams have been free to use discs once again.