Nikolas Maes (Etixx-Quick Step) can not confirm whether the injury he received during the 2016 Paris-Roubaix was the result of colliding with a disc brake or not.
The Belgian received a deep cut to the knee during a crash on the Trouee d’Arenberg, and despite attempting to continue, abandoned the race shortly after because of his injury.
Maes then climbed into an ambulance where Fran Ventoso (Movistar), who had already received a nasty injury to his left leg during an incident on the Quérénaing sector, was being treated.
Ventoso claimed in an open letter about the use of disc brakes in the professional peloton that Maes had also been injured by a disc brake.
“15km after my incident, Nikolas Maes, a rider from Etixx-Quick Step, comes into the very same ambulance I’m sitting in,” Ventoso said.
“There’s a deep wound in his knee, produced by another disc, one of those 32 [in the peloton].”
But contrary to the Spaniard’s claim, when contacted by Cycling Weekly, Etixx-Quick Step were quick to state that neither they nor the rider were clear on how the injury occurred.
“Nikolas cannot deny or confirm. He simply doesn’t know the origin/cause of the wound because after the crash he was only thinking to make a quick check of the injuries and try to continue the race.
“Only when he was in the ambulance with Ventoso he thought that it could have been a disc brake rotor but he cannot confirm. It could have been also another part of the bike or simply the cobblestones.”
The UCI has reportedly suspended the use of disc brakes in the professional peloton since Ventoso’s injury, but official word has yet to be released by the governing body.