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French federation acts after UCI suspends disc brake WorldTour trial

Cyclists taking part in French sportives, including L’Etape du Tour, hugely popular among British riders, will not be able to do so on bikes equipped with disc brakes after the French cycling federation (FFC) decided to ban them.

The decision follows the UCI’s suspension of a trial of disc brakes after the Movistar rider Fran Ventoso claimed to have been badly cut by one in a crash at Paris-Roubaix. It should be pointed out that there is no conclusive proof a disc brake did indeed cause the injury.

The Spanish rider said that disc brakes, trialled at top level races since last autumn, should never have been allowed in the pro peloton, but he added that he did support their use in cyclo-cross races and by amateurs taking part in sportives.

> Fran Ventoso: Disc brakes should never have been allowed in peloton

The FFC, it seems, does not agree with that latter point, saying in a statement published on its website:

Following the decision of the UCI of 14 April 2016, the Federal Bureau decided at its meeting on 14 April 2016 to forbid the use of disc brakes on all road events organised under the umbrella of the FFC.

Besides L’Etape du Tour, which this year takes place from Megeve to Morzine on Sunday July 10, mirroring the route of Stage 20 of the Tour de France, other events affected include the Ariegoise.

Organisers of that Pyrenean cyclcosportive have reiterated the ban on disc brakes on their website, saying: “The Executive Office of L’Ariégeoise Cyclosportive will not allow the participation in his event at the cyclists equipped with disc brakes.”

> Have disc brakes really led to injuries in peloton?

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.