Former UCI president also defends his record on motorised doping

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Former UCI president Pat McQuaid has spoken out against the introduction of disc brakes into the pro peloton, saying that they are “completely ridiculous” and “could cause injuries in crashes”.

In an interview with L’Equipe, McQuaid criticised the UCI and Brian Cookson, saying that Cookson made a mistake in bringing in new staff when he took over as president in 2013, with the lack of experience in the organisation being manifested in “decisions that I [McQuaid] do not understand.”

>>> Chris Froome wary of disc brakes in the peloton in 2016

The main example of this given by McQuaid is the introduction of disc brakes. The former president criticised the UCI as being “irresponsible” for giving teams the choice of running either disc brakes or rim brakes, with the different braking power of the two systems having the potential to cause crashes, and disc rotors possibly causing injuries.

McQuaid’s views echo the sentiments of pro riders such as Alex Dowsett and Nathan Haas, who have spoken out against the use of disc brakes due to the potential danger they could pose to riders, particularly in mass pile-ups.

>>> Everything you need to know about the motorised doping scandal

The former UCI president also took the opportunity to comment on the motorised doping scandal that has enveloped the sport over the last month.

The Irishman seemed to take a more gentle approach to the likes of Marc Madiot (who last week called for lifetime bans for all involved), instead stressing that most of the responsibility should lie with the Belgian Federation and Femke Van den Driessche’s team, rather than with the rider herself.

UCI technical manager Mark Barfield has previously said that he thought motorised bikes had been used in the WorldTour during the Irishman’s time as president, but McQuaid stressed how he had acted quickly in response to rumours of motorised doping, carrying out checks as early as the 2010 Tour de France.