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Could the use of disc brakes be facing another setback?

Bieles Cyclocross World Championships: U23 men's race
Joe Robinson
12 Feb 2018

Horrible injury to Kaite Compton attributed to disc brake rotor

Graphic image of injury below

The use of disc brakes in UCI sanctioned racing could come under threat yet again after cyclocross World Championships silver medalist Katie Compton blamed a nasty wound on a rotor.

Racing in her final race of the season at the DVV Trofee Krawatencross in Lille, Compton crashed in the first lap sustaining the 'disc rotor cut to the bone' according to her partner, Mark Legg.

This latest incident will undoubtedly plunge the use of disc brakes on the road back into question despite the incident taking place in a cyclocross race.

While their use is permitted currently, it is still under review by the UCI and as history has proved, this can be overturned at any point.

Fran Ventoso succumbed to a similar injury at the 2016 Paris-Roubaix laying blame to disc brakes subsequently seeing their use temporarily banned.

Then at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour, Team Sky's Owain Doull claimed the disc rotors on Marcel Kittel's bike cut through his shoe and foot, but it was later proven to have come from the protruding foot of a crowd barrier.

The benefits of disc brakes in cyclocross are clear with them offering better performance, particularly in wet and muddy conditions, and this also rings true for racing on the road. However the concern over their safety has been constant.

Riders from the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) have argued that testing should be introduced due to concerns over mixed braking methods in the peloton.

Howverm, arguably, there is just as much difference in braking with regular rim brakes between teams on different groupset providers, different rim brands, preferences on lever pull and reaction times from rider to rider. 

Yet if Compton's injury is proven to be the result of a disc rotor, it's likely that there will be calls from riders within in the peloton to reconsider their use.

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