BMC Racing's team technical liaison says that more time needs to be invested into developing disc brakes for road racing
Cycling is acting emotional in the wake of recent accidents and it needs to “cool down” to deal with disc brake dangers, says BMC Racing‘s team technical liaison.
Fran Ventoso (Movistar) crashed in Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix and said yesterday that the deep muscle cut to his left leg was caused by another rider’s disc brake. The UCI officially banned disc brake use in professional races on Thursday morning, only four months after giving them the green light.
“In the days following Antoine Demoitié’s death, people are emotional,” Stefano Cattai from BMC Switzerland told Cycling Weekly. “Now, people are acting emotionally, and they need to cool down.
“I’m not complaining with the UCI’s decision. Safety is a priority, but there are a lot of emotions now. The decision to stop disc brake use happened quickly, but it’s understandable. I know the UCI is under pressure.
“Now there are additional factors. People are worried something will happen – the worst-case scenario. The UCI needs to investigate without emotions. It happened, it’s a fact, but you need to look at why and how.”
Watch: What do the pros really think of disc brakes?
Demoitié fell and moments later, was hit by a race motorbike in Ghent-Wevelgem on March 27. That night, the 25-year-old Belgian died.
“I didn’t see much happen when Taylor Phinney crashed [in the 2014 US Championships]. No one talked about road safety then. Now if something happens, attention is high,” added Cattai.
“The same crash that happened with the guy in Movistar could happen in mountain bike races. You have the same scenario for the first 500 metres, with riders close together, until the single track. It can happen there, but no one talks about that.”
Team Sky, Trek-Segafredo, Lampre-Merida, Direct Energie, and others tried disc brakes already. BMC Racing was due to put its riders on disc brakes in June.
“Obviously that’s not happening now. It’s going to be very difficult to see a return now. When will they return? Maybe not until 2018!
“How to make them safe? It’s a big challenge because we already fought to get the mechanics to use them with the challenge of a quick wheel change.
“Teams did it, seeing that it’s not too difficult to change wheels quickly. A safer system could add more time, but why not do it? The good thing is that there is already investment into disc brakes, and more can be put into their safety now.
“We have to have a solution, we need to invest more time in disc brakes. If we didn’t continue to do these things, we wouldn’t even be here with mechanical shifting, people would still be using levers on their down tubes.”