Last week we reported that Tom Boonen has decided to use a disc-equipped Specialized Venge all this season, and he’s only gone and won a stage of the San Juan race in Argentina with it, making him the first professional rider to win a race with disc brakes.
Boonen is in the final season of his outstanding professional career, and to the shock of some people, he announced last week that he was going to see out his final year on a disc-equipped race bike, choosing Quickstep sponsors Specialized Venge Vias Disc.
There’s much debate about whether disc brakes have a place in the professional racing circuit, talk of safety, increased drag and extra weight, but none of those concerns seemed to have caused an issue for Tom Boonen, who seems to have circumnavigated those issues with ease.
It’ll be interesting to see how Boonen gets on with disc brakes in the bigger and more important races later in the season as he heads towards his goal of winning a final Paris-Roubaix. And will this win persuade other pros to try discs? We’ll soon see.
On stage two of the race, Boonen outsprinted Elia Viviani and Matteo Malucelli to take the top spot, after being led out by teammate and winner on stage one, Fernando Gaviria.
"Right from the start of the day, the plan was to do the sprint for me, after going with Fernando on stage 1,” said Tom Boonen. “In the final kilometre, both Max and Fernando did an awesome job and I got the better of Elia. I want to thank them for their help because in the end, this is a team win. I've always had a good experience in Argentina and this victory shows that I'm on the right track for the upcoming races.
"It's just the start of the season, but the level in San Juan is a good one. I'm happy to win in Argentina, in front of these unbelievable fans. It's incredible how many people came at the start and at the finish, you can really feel how much they love cycling and how passionate they are about it", concluded Tom, who throughout his career has won more than 100 races across 13 countries and four continents.”
Here is his winning sprint.
Boonen also found some socks to race in after being sockless on the training ride photographed above.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.