Team Androni Giocattoli scrapped its plan to use disc brakes in Milan-San Remo today. It would have been the first use of the brakes in a one-day Monument and perhaps ideal in the 23 hairpin turns on the Poggio’s decent to San Remo.
Under the warm Milan sun this morning, Androni’s red Kuota bicycles leaned against its bus. Number 28, former Sky rider Davide Viganò’s bike, should have had disc brakes mounted. Instead, the team’s management decided against it.
“We only have one team car in Milan-San Remo,” Sports Director Giovanni Ellena told Cycling Weekly.
“In a classic like this, with an escape that could go up to a quarter of an hour, it’s impossible to have a man up front uncovered. Or to have the car with him and have the other seven uncovered. You have to make a decision.”
Ellena asked RCS Sport about Vittoria neutral service support for his Italian cyclist in case he made the escape. Even if Vittoria neutral support had disc brake wheels available, an eventual change could spoil the team’s day.
“If you have disc brakes you need a spare bike not just a change of wheel if you puncture. OK, you can do it, but it’s complicated in a nervous moment and you lose much time. The riders always need to have a car near by with a bike ready,” Ellena added.
“Sure, Mavic, Shimano or Vittoria support could have it in the future, but it’s complicated to change the wheel. All you need the rider to touch the lever and it ruins it all.”
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In 2015, the UCI allowed teams to try disc brakes in races in August and September. Over the winter, it gave the green light for their use in every race. Teams used them in the Tour of Qatar and Tirreno-Adriatico already this year.
Team Roompot posted a video online of its mechanic changing a wheel quickly in the Tour of Qatar. However, even Roompot warned that if the rider squeezed the lever at the wrong moment, the mechanic’s work would turn complicated. Androni did not want to take such a risk in a race as important as Milan-San Remo.