Kittel halts on using disc brakes after clash

Abu Dhabi: Marcel Kittel chose not use a bike with disc brakes during stage two of the Abu Dhabi Tour on Friday. The move came after Team Sky’s Owain Doull accused him, after stage one’s crash, that he was lucky not to cut his foot.Kittel crashed just...

Kittel halts on using disc brakes after clash

Abu Dhabi: Marcel Kittel chose not use a bike with disc brakes during stage two of the Abu Dhabi Tour on Friday. The move came after Team Sky’s Owain Doull accused him, after stage one’s crash, that he was lucky not to cut his foot.

Kittel crashed just before he had launched into the final sprint on stage one — following which Doull had deep slashes on his shoes and he immediately claimed that it was due to the German rider’s Shimano disc-brake rotor. Doull even went on to post pictures of his shoe on his twitter account.

Although fortunately for me the disk brake went through my shoe and not my leg. Disk cut straight through my shoe into my foot pic.twitter.com/b6HMe7hRMb— Owain Doull (@owaindoull) February 23, 2017

Although fortunately for me the disk brake went through my shoe and not my leg. Disk cut straight through my shoe into my foot pic.twitter.com/b6HMe7hRMb— Owain Doull (@owaindoull) February 23, 2017

Kittel is the only rider in the peloton using disc brakes at the Abu Dhabi Tour. This is the second incident that has been reported. Last year, Fran Ventoso had also blamed a disc-brake rotor for his injury during the Paris-Roubaix.

“My shoe’s cut to pieces and that’s definitely the (Kittel’s) brakes that did that. It’s gone straight through my shoe into my foot. I’m lucky it is not my leg. It’s like a knife, you know. Just cut straight through that,” said Doull.

Kittel’s success at the Dubai Tour had stirred quite a bit of debate earlier this month on the use of disc brakes and it had again drew a lot of attention straightaway.

“I will not use my disc brake bike today, out of respect for my colleagues because I understand the safety issues. I wanted to hear how he is and what he thought about what happened yesterday. We also spoke about his opinion and his sliced shoe, how it maybe happened,” said Kittel.

Kittel had switched to disc brakes from rim brakes as an improvement and it paid high dividends during the Dubai Tour where he ended up retaining the title. The disc brake improves a lot in the “steering of your bike and you can handle it really well — so I think it’s a good choice” was Kittel’s view of the disc brake.

His teammate Tom Boonen also used it and won a sprint in the Vuelta a San Juan while World Champion Peter Sagan of Boro-Hansgrohe also trained with one before the Tour Down Under in Australia and is expected to use it in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Boonen has also been a strong advocate of the disc brakes and he rated it as the “biggest improvement” he had seen in his career on bikes and felt it would be “stupid” not to use it. As per UCI regulations, the discs have flattened edges but the inner edges of the cooler fins are still sharp.

In high speed crashes, strange things happen but Doull’s incident highlights safety concerns on the usage of disc brakes and further improvement is needed to safe guard the interest of other riders.

Kittel, who voted for a disc brake trial, said he voted for the use of disc brakes only because he wanted to use it but now will only be doing so if safety concerns are “resolved”.

“I want to see all the bunch racing on them and not just me alone. I’m also in favour of a caging and there are good prototypes already. I guess it’s a good thing because of the psychological problems of the dangers that are disc brakes on a bike right now.”

It will be interesting to see how the UCI evaluates this controversy and if they look at introducing protective casings on the disc to avert such incidents.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

You need to login to comment.

Please register or login.

RELATED NEWS