Movistar rider Fran Ventoso undergoes surgery to repair injuries suffered in a crash at Paris-Roubaix where he reportedly landed on a disc brake

Fran Ventoso was taken to hospital after a crash at Paris-Roubaix, suffering deep wounds to his leg reportedly caused by landing on a disc brake.

The Spaniard was flown back home on Tuesday after undergoing an operation to apply suture and drain on the wound, according to his Movistar team. They are hoping to regenerate the muscle tissue damage as quickly as possible.

When contacted by Cycling Weekly, Movistar were unable to confirm the cause of the injury, however directeur sportif García Acosta has since told El Periodico that the wound “was so deep that you could see the tibia.”

Spanish journalist Sergi Lopez-Egea of El Periodico tweeted on Sunday: “Fran Ventoso was injured by the disc brake of a rival in a crash and has been evacuated to hospital.”

Two teams sent all their riders to Paris-Roubaix on disc brake-equipped bikes – Direct Energie and Lampre-Merida, on their new Merida Scultura bike.

Fran Ventoso at Paris-Roubaix (Sunada)

Fran Ventoso at Paris-Roubaix (Sunada)

Ventoso crashed at around the 140km mark, with medical staff wrapping the wound on his calf up and transporting him to hospital in Valenciennes.

>>> ‘This is why we don’t need disc brakes’

Ventoso tweeted on Monday: “I’m entering the operating room to fix my body. Thank you for all the encouragement.”

Fellow Movistar rider Nelson Oliveira was also injured at Paris-Roubaix, falling on his left arm and shoulder after around 95km and subsequently fracturing his collardbone

  • Someone

    As a (mostly) mountain biker who regularly crosses over to the dark side to ride road, I chose a cyclocross bike specifically because it had discs. The last road bike I had almost no stopping power (it was an ultergra rig), no matter how much I fiddled with the brakes. Those little, short arm calipers just can’t do much. The only downside that I can see to the discs is the increased moment of inertia. I love that my cyclocross bikes actually has braking power with even gentle taps. With discs, you are less likely to crash, so I’d consider them a safety feature.

  • Stevo

    Don’t underestimate the power of ggl trnslt. It translated:

    “Tvns hdt tlbhrsng n dt j wt wt hr stt zndr n klkr mr n hb j n prblm mt ggl trnslt”

    as:

    “A command of language also means that you know what is written here without the of aid a klkr but now you’ve got a problem because I haven’t got a clue what ‘klkr’ is”.

    Incidentally, your first sentence should read “if you had any command”, not “if you would have any command”. That’s not the only mistake you made either. To be honest, I think ggl trnslt writes better English than you do, going on its efforts above.

  • kees kroket

    Well you should be able to read it if you would have any command of the Dutch language. One could pretend to the speak Dutch language but at the end Google translate just isn’t enough to disguise one is not in command of the Dutch language at all en val je door de mand
    – Hoogmoed komt voor de val
    – Al is de leugen nog zo snel de waarheid achterhaalt ze wel

  • Bob Dobbins

    I am not sure I get your comment. They are highly segregated by skill. The rider has to have a license, and the team is licensed. Dudes don’t just show up and ride the cobbles on race day.

  • Stevo

    Electrons. First shell. And since you seem to like cryptic clues: the misspelled word looks like a rodent and sounds a bit like and amphibian.

  • kees kroket

    nee, zoek dat maar eens uit. De schillen jiddie jid 🙂 Now translate this with google.

  • Stevo

    So what about “klkr” then? Something missing there, no? And I’m not talking about the vowels.

  • Alex

    Did the offending brake disc have blood or flesh on it from Ventoso? Does his own bike have rim or disc brakes? Need a proper and full investigation before banning them.

  • Chris

    I’ve a better idea! Retain disc brakes but fit the discs to the centre of the hubs, that is between the two rows of spokes. I can’t possibly think why they wouldn’t work!

  • Richard Hill

    It’s impossible for him to catch his left leg on a disc brake if it’s mounted on the left side of some else’s bike and then still remain upright… I smell a rat here… but then I’m sure some of you will tell me cycling is still clean…

  • kees kroket

    No (besides it’s missing interpunctie at the end of the sentence) there is no mistake in my last sentence. It’s just the proof that your command in Dutch does not exist. Google translate is not able to translate this sentence while people capable of the Dutch language know exactly what i wrote there.

  • Stevo

    Where did I say anything about my mother tongue? Anyway, since this is an English website, I see no reason to answer in anything but English.

    Also, there is a mistake in your last sentence.

  • kees kroket

    Ik ben niet meer van plan om je in het Engels te antwoorden, dus je zal het moeten doen met google translate. En natuurlijk beheers jij het Nederlands nietanders had je namelijk allang in het Nederlands gereageerd. Dat is gewoon een automatisme in het taalgebied van de hersenen die elke native speaker niet kan onderdrukken als er tegen hem/haar wordt gesproken in de moedertaal.
    Tvns hdt tlbhrsng n dt j wt wt hr stt zndr n klkr mr n hb j n prblm mt ggl trnslt

  • Stevo

    How about answering the question then? And stop being so rude.

  • kees kroket

    ben je nou al zo dement dat je twee keer met dezelfde vraag op de proppen komt?

  • Stevo

    What makes you think you know that? You actually don’t have a clue.

  • kees kroket

    Well done met google translate jiddie jid

  • Stevo

    So what makes you think you know how good or bad or non-existent my Dutch is? You don’t know the first thing about my command of Dutch.

  • kees kroket

    Hoe goed je Nederlandse taalbeheersing is? Er is bij jou helemaal geen sprake van goede of slechte Nederlandse taalbeheersing ………………….

  • Angus Robinson

    Lol ok so his joint capsule is in the upper 2/3 of his tibia is it? And besides it was his left leg so how does he ride along side a disc bike and have it slice him. Also none of the riders who crashed near him were either of the two teams using disc brakes.

  • Testingplease

    There are fairly well smooth on the edge….Go ahead and get one spinning on teh stand and touch the edge….It is NOT a meat slicer

  • Stevo

    “Useful” has one “l”.

    What makes you think you know how good my Dutch is?

  • kees kroket

    If one hasn’t got usefull arguments one starts about someone’s writing on the internet. Yeah very constructive…………..And please don’t start about Dutch language as you are not able to write one decent sentence in Dutch

  • John Tye

    I wasn’t aware of two. What were the injuries? cuts, burns, breaks?

  • John Tye

    I’m not sure how hot everyone thinks the discs get anyway but it’s not that hot. It isn’t cattle prod hot. Even if it was, I’d take a skin injury over all the others that are really bad.

  • ebbe

    Completely agree. If both riders stayed upright and facing forward (as was clearly written in the letter), injuring the left leg on a disc on the left side of another rider’s bike is nearly impossible. Looking at the shape, orientation, position and serrations of the wound, my bet is on a the teeth of a cassette (11 teeth next to each other, only 1 coverd by a chain, each tooth followed by a new one rotating upwards) eating into his leg, ripping a piece upwards

  • nolan

    Because even at 30mph the disc is moving at 6mph.

  • nolan

    Yup, that works. Doesn’t cut at all even with prolonged contact. I could see some poorly milled rotors having a sharp edge, but not these. I have been burned by a hot disc before, but never cut.

    I still don’t see how the injury was cause by a disc however, the tetris like positioning is mind boggling.

  • nolan

    I would like to bring some math into this, at a riding speed of 100Kph a 160mm disc will be going approx 20Kph, 50Kph = 10Kph for the disc.

  • ebbe

    Does this work? It’s somebody who retweeted mine, so you’ll find mine there as well: greencurryphoto/status/720630779533864960

  • nolan

    could you post the v=JQKLXPbJwJA portion of the url? I’d like to see it too.

  • nolan

    Or you’re on a smaller ring . . .

  • Bob

    Probably never seen a mass XC start ‘filter’ to singletrack, or the Megavalanche start then? Sure Mtb wear some protective pads, but where are the photos of severed fingers and other disc related carnage? They don’t exist.

  • Stevo

    I find them highly constructive. Also, in English, as in Dutch, a sentence generally starts with a capital letter and is terminated with a full stop.

  • Erik Rakovský

    Interestingly, there weren’t Lampre Merida nor Direct Energie riders around…

  • harry

    To that extent, you could argue that a peleton with riders of varying skills (of which there obviously is) would be dangerous too.

  • kees kroket

    well as your comments aren’t that constructive either i understand you have a different reference of constructive comments

  • whatever_dude

    Any time you open the joint capsule, you just bought yourself arthritis down the road…if you don’t get an infection in the bone that makes you lose your leg, that is.

    Yeah, this is an incredibly serious injury. I’d take a simple fracture any day.

  • Rogerio Carignano Nascimento

    left leg, the same side where is the disc, but the wound is in the external part of the leg…. it is hard to imagine how he did it…. and he said he didnt fall …. i think he is lying

  • Alex Paterson

    unless the chain falls off in the accident…which is not uncommon.

  • Philip Holman

    I don’t think they are that dangerous either and I don’t need to tilt the evidence to convince anyone. Like you say, there are plenty of other things on the bike to do equal or worse damage.

  • ebbe

    Yes I agree. But the point is: If discs were really THAT dangerous, I’d have to at least manage to get a small cut. Look up the video on Twitter and you’ll see nothing happend.

    At high speeds ANYTHING is dangerous. Try jamming a handlebar in your body at 50k/h: You might rupture a spleen. Try jamming your knee in the spokes at 50k/h: You’ll slice a bit off your knee – do a google search for “bicycle spokes injury” if you don’t believe me. Try spinning a rubber tire at 50k/h and then hold a piece of skin on it: You’ll get a very nasty burn. Road cycling at speed with virtually no protection is inherently extremely dangerous. The question is: Do discs brakes add more danger? Well…

    The “sharp edge” of a 170mm disc is about 533mm (circumference, one sided). The whole disc (partially) covers 12 “sharp spokes” at about 75mm each = 900mm. Overall DECREASE in sharp edges: 366mm

  • Philip Holman

    Not for science …………but to support a bias. Pushing a finger really hard isn’t the same as crashing at 30 mph. The forces are orders of magnitude greater. Forces that break bones are not finger pressure magnitude.

  • Bob Dobbins

    I don’t get why they would need disc brakes in the first place. They are pros, they can do stuff with calipers most of us can’t imagine. And also, just like the track, everyone needs to have the same style of brakes (or none). The hazard is when you have two bikes that brake substantially differently. So either everyone rides discs, or no one.

  • ebbe

    I did, easily. I can do it again if you want… €1000 bet? 😉

  • Unfiltered Dregs

    Why don’t you spin up your rear wheel to 30mph…and then try it?

  • ebbe

    “No need” is quite different from what’s being discussed all over internet fora as “rotting slicing saw blades of death” 😉 No need in a road pro peloton I could potentially agree with. Although I do see advantages even there, I also see some disadvantages there.

    Imagine Ventoso would not have hit the disc, but his knee would have gone straight into the spokes. Feel free to do a google search for ‘bicycle spoke injury’ if your stomach is up for it.

    Sadly, it’s apparently not possible to post links at all. Or admins are not approving links, or deleting them, I don’t know. Any way the links are not showing up. I’ve tried posting a few times now. But just go to Twitter and search for my name and “disc brakes” and it should show, I think.

  • rct

    Can you post a link? Although I am not on twitter, I should still be able to view it.

    As for arm chair trolling, I have the scars and friction burn marks from 30 + years of road racing at a half decent level and my day job involves risk engineering and management. I have hydraulic discs on my mtb, yet cannot see any need for them in a RR bunch.

  • ebbe

    Noop, no friction burn at all. No imagination as well. You can see the video on my Twitter. Should be easy to find. I’ve tried to post it here, but that does not work.

    Maybe you should stop speculating (talk about imagination) and accept real world testing? Of course you CAN get hurt from a disc brake if it lands on you, or you on it, awkwardly. You can get hurt by every part on a bike: People have lost fingers to spokes (which discs partially cover by the way – so there is no increase in total cm’s of sharp edges overall), ruptured spleens from getting hit with a handlebar in their body, chainrings have ripped through flesh, fractured skulls even when wearing a helmet, mangled feet from spokes (while wearing shoes), somebody recently lost an arm in a crash, I’ve personally gotten burns from spinning rubber tires, etc etc. Every part of a bike is dangerous by definition, since riders are barely protected and speeds are relatively high.

    The point here is: I’ve tried it, and discs are not nearly the “razor sharp spinning saw blades” people who never used them make them out to be. Look at the video if you can’t fit that into your theoretical world. I’ve also never managed to get them hotter than lukewarm at most… I’ve purposefully tried to get them hot on a full day of Italian climbing/descending in temps of 35ºC and over. The result: Nowhere near hot enough to cause a burn. Of course I did not drag the brakes all the way down every descent, but who ever does in real life?

    For me, my real world experiments are worth about a thousand of your arm chair trolling comments. So it’s now up to you to prove me wrong in an practical experiment. Not a theory. Look up my video and then go ahead and make your own.

  • rct

    So no friction burns at that speed, or do you have an overactive imagination?

  • rct

    Two injuries confirmed and with only a minority of riders using discs. If they too be used get them covered.

  • John Tye

    One accident (and it hasn’t been confirmed it was the disc) is no reason to get rid of them. I think their have been more injuries caused by asphalt in the past 2 days than by disc brakes so maybe they should just do away with riding on that????
    Someone is just looking for an excuse to prevent them from coming the next thing.

  • ebbe

    At least. I’d say 100 or more

  • harry

    More predictable is people wanting them banned despite there being NO evidence the injury was caused by a disc brake, get over yourself.

  • rct

    Was your wheel rotating at 50Kph?

  • rct

    MTB and Cross don’t have tight bunches of riders racing at 30mph centimetres from each other. Discs are fully appropriate off road. The whole point is to reduce the potential causes of injury. Discs in road racing add to it.

  • rct

    2/3 of the chain ring are covered by the chain when moving at speed. Idiotic comment.

  • ebbe

    Sure, come in over 😉 be sure to throw a horse shoe brake caliper in your own face and see if that’s all flowers and cotton candy. Or stick you fingers in a revolving wheel adjusting your brakes on the go because they’re rubbing.

    Swinging an axe is really really different from grazing a bike in a crash, but you already know that. Swinging a toothed cranckset at somebody cloud kill them… But that sort of full frontal attack with a weapon has never happened in a crash. Following yoir logic, spokes should be banned immediately: There’s more of them (30 to 40), they’re sharper, they move faster, and people have actually lost fingers because of spokes. Just read an article that had some official numbers : in my country, accidents with bicycle wheel spokes (only spokes related) cost 2 million in hospital bills each year.

    When you’ve got some experience with disc brakes, other then armchair trolling, come back.

  • Stevo

    Genius. When you use an axe do you swing it or do you just “push down hard”?

    No I haven’t ridden with discs, and yes, I will prove a disc can slice through flesh if you lend me your bike and your finger.

  • ebbe

    Bike was fixed, so that’s infinite mass attached to it. I pushed down hard, as i said. In a real crash, you mostly graze the disc, since you can basically only hit it from a limited amount of angles, none of which would allow the disc to work as a “saw blade” as was described by some other people. Also, I pushed my finger down for at least 10 seconds while the disc was spinning (used my finger to stop the wheel actually), which would never happen in a real crash. A real crash-contact with a disc would be a fraction of a second at most.

    If you’re really going with the “50km/h” nonsense: You try poking a rim brake caliper in your eye at 50km/h. Will be much worse than anything you can achieve with a disc ever 😉

    So, now it’s up to you to prove that you can slice through flesh with a brake disc. Go ahead

    Did you even ever ride disc brakes on a raid bike for a period of time? Say a year? Try that first, and then get back to us with your armchair logic

  • Mike Prytherch

    I’ve had disc’s for years, I’ve never once gone… oh thats a sharp edge, or cut myself whilst handling

  • Stevo

    Cos they don’t want to run and walk.

  • Stevo

    Now try it under realistic conditions, i.e. with a 70-80 kg mass attached to the disc, and
    with the disc impacting with your finger at 50 km/h. For science.

  • Stevo

    Most of his comments are about a million times more constructive than the other gentleman’s. And it’s “your”, not “you’re”.

  • ebbe

    That’s a matter of setting it up properly 😉

  • Cris Doyle

    It depends. If your pads overlap the outer edge of the disk, that edge can get quite sharp. If you design the disk so that it sticks out further than the pads, you can make its outer edge a nice smooth radius.

  • Cris Doyle

    I’m making no claims as to what the ‘sharp edge’ was, just pointing out that it’s not relevant to talk about burns.

  • john

    the sole cause of which is obviously a disc in every case, I mean it couldn’t possibly be a chainring/spoke/handlebar/road furniture could it, that would be ridiculous?!

  • Angus Robinson

    Have you ever noticed how the tibia is covered by only ~2mm of skin on the medial side? Wouldn’t have to be very deep to see the bone. Even laterally it’s only ~10mm deep. Not what I’d call a serious injury compared with any common fracture caused by simply falling off and hitting the ground.

  • veloaficionado

    We should ban humourless posters. They are a bigger hazard than discs. Much less cutting, tho’.

  • Miha Reščič

    Or, lucky you?

  • ebbe

    I guess some people are just clumsy that way 😉

  • Miha Reščič

    Nah, I’ll just keep trying to avoid them, too many cuts, bruises, burns and destroyed equipment from my (and others’) discs …

  • ebbe

    Get better quality discs? 😉

  • Miha Reščič

    Hm, must be only my disc then … Ah well, at least I know they’re safe now.

  • ebbe

    Same result: no problem at all. I even pushed down

  • Miha Reščič

    Right, please spin the wheel with moderate speed and repeat the experiment. Please report back. For science …

  • ebbe

    Tried to slice my finger on my discs just now. For science.

    Pushed my finger down on the edge really hard, and made a “cutting motion”. Nothing at all, not even a scratch. Barely a “dent” (same you would get if you did this this on a normal spoke), which is almost gone already.

  • erkcyclisme

    Why don’t Roubaix riders use MTB shoes and pedals? It’s fact every rider will go down at least once during the race. With MTB shoes at least they could run and walk in chaotic situations.

  • erkcyclisme

    It’s a selfie world.

  • jason wright

    the design of the disc and caliper could be improved. the edge of the disc is rotating blade and needs to be ‘blunted’ in some way.

  • Stephen Hawkins

    yes, look at the queues of mountain bikers and Cyclo-crossers filling A&E with disk brake injuries (not). Disk brakes DONT have sharp edges unless you count the cheap and nasty things on Halfords specials, they are radiused. a bike is a whole collection of sharp and rotating bits, a small disk in the centre of the wheel is the least of your worries and far offset by the greater bike control a disk brings

  • kees kroket

    fortunately for cyclingweekly you’re comments are all so very constructive

  • paddy_bogman

    How about they just put a 1mm radius on the brake rotor edge?

  • llos25

    Idiotic answer as usual have you nothing constructive to say.

  • kees kroket

    we should ban all cycling 🙂

  • llos25

    I agree.

  • LMV1

    I read the caption in English first and though it sounded very melodramatic. Then I read it in Spanish and realised what a terrible translation it was. In Spanish it downplays th injury. When it says “body” it uses “carrocería” rather than “cuerpo”. The latter would be the body of the person, while the former is something Spanish cyclists use when all you have is a scratch and is the word to refer to a car’s body.

  • MJ

    Hmmm, i suspect someone completely missed the sarcasm in Jon’s comment…

  • David Kerry

    Ahhh mr Franklin .. So now you think disc brakes are dangerous.. I bet they don’t have them in Thailand hey

  • Colin

    One guy **possibly gets injured by a disc brake and there are calls to ban them. A rider gets killed in a race by a motorbike and it’s business as usual. Priorities people. Priorities.

  • graham

    You obviously have not got the slightest idea about what the classics are about, I suppose you would like them all to be raced on closed sections of motorways. Another case of newbies thinking they know what cycling is all about.

  • Chris Williams

    Its sad to see with the top photo that the most important thing to the guy on the left is not the rider but taking a f___king photo!

  • blemcooper

    I’m not against disc brakes per se, but folks bringing up chainrings–you need chainrings for the bike to work (unless they move to belt drives and internal gear hubs/cranks), but you don’t need disc brakes in road racing.

    And most of the time pro road racers crash in a pile up, they are on the big ring so the chain is there to block most of the teeth.

  • Cris Doyle

    The article mentions “deep wounds to his leg”, so it wasn’t hot metal that got him, it was a sharp edge, “reportedly”.

  • Jon Bayley

    We should ban racing on cobbles, biggest cause of crashes during classics season.

  • john

    there are far worse things out there than disc brakes in the event of a crash… chain rings, spokes, other riders, cars, motorbikes, the road. Given the rate at which discs cool down it’s a ridiculously small chance you’d suffer serious burns anyway.

  • ian franklin

    There’s a world of difference between disc brakes and chainrings. I have a large scar on my leg from a chainring (looks better than a tattoo – I’m just glad that it wasn’t a disc that got me.

  • Angus McIntosh

    Chainrings! Ban them NOW! Everyone must be running a rubber belt drive.

  • ian franklin

    Yep. Predictable. Get rid of those things NOW!