Paris-Roubaix under-23 rider suffers gruesome wound to his leg he says was caused by disc brake

Warning: Contains graphic images

A Paris-Roubaix under-23 rider was left with a gruesome wound to his leg he says was caused by a disc brake.

Matteo Jorgenson, who rides for the Ag2r La Mondiale development squad, was caught in a crash at the Paris-Roubaix Espoirs on Sunday (June 2) that left him needing surgery.

The 19-year-old American, who posted a picture of the gash on social media, said the horrific injury was caused by another rider's disc rotor.

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Jorgensson said: “You can be third wheel and still get crashed. Waiting for surgery due to someone’s disc rotor.

“Didn’t believe they could do this until it happened to me. Thankful for my parents being here.”

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When asked how he knew it was a disc that caused the injury, he added: “It’s my right left, it was a right turn, rider flew up the inside just before the entry, he ripped the front brake, slid into me with speed.

“When I got up I saw his rear rotor and my shoe completely soaked in blood.

“Nothing else could have cut so clean and four centimetres deep.”

Jorgenson’s injury has reignited the long-running debate about the safety of disc brakes in the professional peloton.

The technology was first trialled at WorldTour level in August 2015 but was suspended due to safety concerns after Movistar’s Fran Ventoso was injured in the 2016 Paris-Roubaix, although the cause of the injury was disputed.

Discs were then reintroduced to the peloton in a second trial in 2017 before being formally authorised for the 2018 Tour de France.

They have been widely adopted in pro racing, but plenty of riders still opt for rim brakes.

Injuries believed to have been caused by disc brakes have sporadically been reported since the trial.

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In February 2017, Team Ineos rider Owain Doull said his foot wound and a gash to his shoe were caused by disc brakes after a crash at the Abu Dhabi Tour.

The rider’s union, the Professional Cyclists Association (CPA) threatened the UCI with legal action, which prompted industry body the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry to commission two reports to establish the safety of the braking system.

The reports found no evidence that either Ventoso or Doull’s injuries were caused by discs.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.