In light of UCI’s decision this week, to grant further trial testing of disc brakes during the 2016 race season, the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) has voiced its concerns, that allowing the testing of said brakes amongst the peloton during competition, could pose safety concerns.
In a statement today, CPA president, Gianni Bugno, said, while his organization isn’t opposed to the introduction of disc brakes, they nevertheless feel, that equipment testing should take place outside of racing.
“We are not opposed to the technological innovation, but not at the expense of the safety of the riders,” Bugno said.
“It is not possible to test new technologies in races like the WorldTour where riders are struggling to the last to win or hold the position in the group. What would happen if, as it always happens, there was a sudden stop in the group and the riders have two different braking systems with a different type of modulation? Surely, a fall.”
Bugno says the CPA will lobby the UCI to launch an anonymous survey, as a means of gauging riders’ concerns.
“We know that many of [the riders] are worried about the introduction of this innovation and that tests on the disc brakes made by the UCI have not had a very positive opinion in favor of their introduction. In early January we will have the results of the survey and we will present them to the UCI in extreme transparency,” explained Bugno.
“We asked the UCI in October to allow a member of the CPA to be part of the materials commission to give a contribution and to be the voice of the riders in the discussion, but we are still waiting for our request to be accepted – it will probably be at the next CCP in March when we know something.”
In addition, with the testing of disc brakes likely to get underway during the Spring Classics, Bugno adds, that the combined use of the traditional caliper brakes along side of disc brakes, would cause logistical problems as well as safety issues.
“Organizers will not be able to ensure suitable [neutral service] wheels because of the two different braking systems. We run the risk of having a rider stuck a few kilometers from the finish line because [neutral service] hasn’t a wheel for discs – we have to take into account that now the wheels will be 50 per cent normal and 50 per cent with disc,” said Bugno.
“The technology must go ahead but must be developed in non-competitive races. Once it is established that the new system is more secure than the previous it must be entered in competitions and mandatory for all the riders.”
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