Doull claims Kittel's 'lethal' disc brake bike almost caused serious injury

'Unless there are covers on those things they're pretty lethal' says Sky rider

Owain Doull has called for disc brakes to be banned unless protective casings are introduced after suffering a crash on the opening day of the Abu Dhabi Tour in which he claims one of Marcel Kittel's rotors slashed through his shoe.

The Team Sky rider hit the deck with a kilometre remaining and showed Cyclingnews and other reporters his left shoe, which had a straight cut in two parts running almost the entire length of the forefoot.

Standing receiving treatment for road rash on his backside, Doull pointed to his foot, where a cut – fortunately not too deep – was showing through a tear in his sock.

"My shoe was cut to pieces. That's definitely a disc brake that has done that," said Doull.

"It's gone straight through the shoe into my foot. It's lucky that's not my leg to be honest. If anything I've come off lucky there, if that'd been my leg it would have cut straight through it, for sure. You've seen my shoe – it's gone straight through that."

"Nothing else could cut like that, it's like a knife, it cut straight through it. You can see that thin line, it's exactly in line, cut there and cut there on my shoe and both straight through in an arrow-straight line."

Kittel is the only rider at the Abu Dhabi Tour using disc brakes, which were reintroduced to the professional peloton on a re-trial basis this season after the original 2016 trial was halted when Fran Ventoso suffered a gash to his leg.

One condition of the reintroduction of disc brakes was that the rotors would be rounded to remove sharp edges, and Kittel was indeed using rounded Shimano rotors, having previously insisted he wouldn't use the technology otherwise.

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Asked whether he had a stance on disc brakes, Doull replied: "I definitely do now."

"In my opinion unless there are covers on those things they're pretty lethal."

This incident is likely to intensify the great disc brake debate at a time when the topic has come to the boil once more, with Cyclingnews revealing heated exchanges between the CPA riders association and the UCI.

The CPA claims that over 80 per cent of the peloton is unhappy with the current situation, with around 40 per cent against disc brakes per se and the other 40 unhappy until two conditions are introduced – protective casings and a stop to having mixed braking systems in the same peloton.

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