World Cyclo-cross champion Sven Nys is set to use disc brakes in a major cyclo-cross race for the first time in his career after mechanics at Shimano fitted the brake system to a new Colnago Prestige frame.
Nys confirmed the rumours by retweeting several messages about his new bike and disc brakes. He will compete in the third round of the Superprestige series in Hamme-Zogge on Sunday and then in the Jaarmarktcross race in Niel on Monday.
The Belgian has apparently been testing disc brakes in training and has used them on a mountain bike. Dutch national champion Lars van der Haar won the opening round of this year’s cyclo-cross World Cup using disc brakes and professional riders are becoming more and more convinced the brakes offer an advantage over traditional cantilever brakes when conditions are especially muddy. Nys is already on form, winning his third race of the season in the sand at Zonhoven last Sunday.
Nys's manager Jan Verstraeten reportedly travelled to the Shimano offices in the Netherlands on Thursday to collect Nys’ new bike.
"My personal feeling is that disc brakes give an advantage in the mud," Verstraeten told Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad.
"Normal brakes are affected by the dirt but discs aren’t. The whole system weighs an extra pound. The braking tolerance factor isn’t a problem for Nys because he already has disc brakes on a mountain bike. Sven has also been testing them on a cyclo-cross bike.”
Shimano has published a series of photographs on its Facebook page showing the build of the bike. The Japanese company recently launch its road disc brakes in Hawaii, following on from other component brands and frame manufacturers who have also developed disc brakes and systems.