A disc brake is being blamed for a severe cut sustained by junior cyclo-cross world champion Shirin van Anrooij while racing in the Czech Republic at the weekend – with her team manager, Sven Nys, saying he’d “Never seen such a wound.”
The 18-year-old Dutch rider was injured in a crash involving a number of riders just seconds after the start of the World Cup race in Tabor on Sunday, reports Sporza.
“She got a piece of disc brake in her forearm,” van Anrooij’s Telenet Baloise Lions team said. Confirming that van Anrooij would undergo an operation on Sunday evening, it added: “At the moment it seems that no muscles or tendons have been affected.”
Former world champion Nys, who was reported to have been very upset by the incident, said: “She is conscious, but I have never seen such a wound.
“The worst part is that Shirin herself also saw the wound on her arm.
“It's an open wound, Shirin has no feeling in her hand. She lost a lot of blood and her hip didn't look good either.
“This is something you don't want to experience as a manager of a team,” he continued. “This is really bad. The race is now just an afterthought.”
Another rider involved in the crash, IKO-Crelan’s Loes Selds, said: “I heard Shirin shout and had to look away because it didn't look good.”
It’s not the first time that disc brake rotors have been singled out as the cause of injuries following a crash.
One high-profile example came at Paris-Roubaix in 2016 when Movistar rider Fran Ventoso claimed that a deep cut in his leg had been caused by a disc brake rotor slicing into him during a crash, with the incident leading the UCI to suspend the trial of disc brakes in road races that was taking place at the time.
The following year, with the UCI resuming the trial, Team Sky rider Owain Doull claimed that a disc brake on the bike of former Quick Step Floors sprinter Marcel Kittel’s bike had cut through his shoe “like a knife” after the pair were involved in a crash at the Abu Dhabi Tour.
“They’re pretty lethal to be honest,” he added, saying, “I’ve come off lucky.”
Video of the crash however suggests that there was no contact between Kittel – the only rider involved who was using disc brakes – and Doull.
Disc brakes have been common in cyclocross for a number of years now – it was the first discipline in which the UCI allowed them – and in 2018, the American rider Katie Compton sustained a deep laceration to her knee during a race in Lille, again attributed to a disc brake rotor during a crash.
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.