Spain joins France in banning disc brakes from road events including sportives

National federation cites safety as reason for its actio

Spain has reportedly joined France in banning bikes with disc brakes from road bikes in all road cycling events, including sportives.

El Periodico reports that sources within the national cycling federation, the RFEC, have confirmed that they are “absolutely prohibited” both in competition and in “marche ciclotiurista” – sportive rides.

Officials accompanying such events, whether of a competitive nature or not, will be able to expel any participant who turns up with a bike equipped with disc brakes.

Rafael Coca, president of the RFEC’s technical commission, told the newspaper: “Even if it is discovered once the event has begun [the rider] will be asked to leave for safety reasons, just the same as if they had started without a helmet.”

The move comes less than a fortnight after the UCI decided to halt the trial of disc brakes within the professional peloton after Movistar rider Fran Ventoso claimed to have been badly cut by one in a crash at Paris-Roubaix.

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

The following week the French cycling federation, the FFC, said that it would ban them from all events falling under its jurisdiction, which includes mass participation rides such as L’Etape du Tour, with El Periodico reporting that the action was taken in response to a request from the insurance industry.

> Disc brakes banned from French sportives including L'Etape du Tour

Coca told El Periodico that the regulations were “clear, precise and forceful,” and added that the RFEC would seek to send up to six officials to events to ensure that they were complied with.

“The official checks that everything is in order, that a doctor and ambulance are present if an accident happens, that participants who do not belong to the federation have a licence and provisional insurance for the day of the event, that all riders wear a helmet and, from now on, they will be rigorous about equipment and in particular disc brakes.”

While the RFEC’s rules relate only to organised events, the suggestion that insurance companies are behind moves to exclude disc brakes from them does raise a point that could be of relevance to many British riders who head to places such as Mallorca for training camps.

That is, will there come a point when the hotel operators and others hosting or leading such camps are required by their insurers not to let people participate in them on bikes 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.

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