With the UCI suspending the use of disc brakes in the professional peloton following the Paris-Roubaix crash in which Movistar’s Francisco Ventoso suffered a deep laceration to his lower left leg, Dutch team Roompot are frantically changing the braking system on its Issac Element SL bikes ahead of Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race.
The team first rode its SRAM disc brake equipped Issac bikes at last year’s Eneco Tour and has continued to do so in most of the race it has competed in 2016. However, with the UCI suspending the use of disc brakes, team manager Michael Zijlaard explained to Dutch broadcaster NOS “we immediately went to work” to ensure it is ready for Amstel Gold Race on Sunday.
"The whole organization is working at full speed. There are couriers whizzing around who are bringing us new frames and wheels. The racks must be adjusted on top of the cars too, all that stuff."
Zijlaard expressed his understanding with the UCI’s decision but added he was frustrated by the timing, which sees the team scrambling to make the changes ahead of Amstel Gold Race and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
"We understand the concerns of other teams completely. Only this is not the best moment, three days before our biggest race of the year,” he said.
In January, the team’s technical manager Henk Schipper explained the specifics of what was required for the team to make the switch from rim to disc brakes.
"We had to do a lot of work in a short time. A gradual transition to rim brake disc is not practical to do because you will end up with different bike frames and wheels. Also bicycle manufacturer Isaac has put everything in order to provide the customized Element SL frames in time," Schipper said. “On top of that, the storage systems in the team trucks and roof racks on the Peugeot team cars had to be adjusted. Thanks to a great effort from our partners involved it is all pretty successfully on time.”
While the Direct Energie and Lampre-Merida teams both rode disc equipped bikes across the cobbled classics, neither team have committed so much to the new braking method and so do not face the problems of Roompot.
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