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Pro racers' group wants to see changes to disc brakes before they are allowed again

Published June 2, 2016
CPA will meet with the UCI on Friday to discuss the issue.

ESTAVAYER-LE-LAC, Switzerland (BRAIN) — The pro road racers' association said it will have to see some changes to disc road brakes before it would agree to further testing of the brakes in the pro peloton. A spokeswoman for the riders’ association, Cyclistes Professionnels Associés, said it will meet with the UCI on Friday to discuss the situation.

The UCI suspended its trial usage of the brakes in pro road racing following April’s Paris-Roubaix, where one rider blamed a leg injury on contact with a brake rotor. The UCI has had little to say publicly about the situation since. One report by Cyclingtips.com suggested that the UCI would resume the disc test in June.

The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry, which took credit for negotiating on behalf of the bike industry to get the brakes allowed initially, has been in discussions with the UCI and other stakeholders since the trial was suspended.

WFSGI secretary general Robbert de Kock told BRAIN recently that he could not confirm that the trial would resume this month.

“I would be extremely pleased if this information would be true. Today I cannot confirm this but let’s see if we can make it happen,” de Kock told BRAIN in an email.

Laura Mora, the press and PR coordinator for the CPA, told BRAIN that the UCI has promised to make the brakes safer.

“We agreed with UCI that before (resuming) disc brake testing they should show us some changes to make them safer for the riders, such as round the edges of the rotors etc. and we would have asked the riders' opinion before we would say yes to the start of the testing,” Mora told BRAIN in an email.

“Now we will see if the UCI will respect the agreement (there are many economical interests behind all this) …,” she said.

The CPA has had reason to be exceptionally vocal about rider safety this season. Besides the brake issue, the group helped organize a delayed race start at a Tour of Belgium stage this weekend, following a motor bike incident in a previous stage that caused serious injury to rider Stig Broeckx. Broeckx remains in a coma with head injuries. Earlier this season, racer Antoine Demoitié died after being struck by a motorbike during the Gent-Wevelgem race. 

AIGCP, an association that represents race teams, also supported the Belgium protest, which called on race organizers and the UCI to tighten regulations and improve training of race commissaires.

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