Giro dell'Emilia: Pellaud left with facial injuries after brake failure

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec's Simon Pellaud in action on stage 4 of the 2020 Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina
Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec's Simon Pellaud in action on stage 4 of the 2020 Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec's Simon Pellaud has been left nursing facial injuries and broken teeth after his disc brakes failed on a descent at the Giro dell'Emilia on Tuesday. Although it's unclear where or when the Swiss rider's crash occurred – or why his brakes failed – Pellaud posted a picture on social media of himself in hospital, presumably in Bologna, with various bandages on his face.

The former IAM Cycling WorldTour team rider – who won a stage of the 2018 Tour of Hainan while racing for US Continental squad Team Illuminate, and joined his current Italian ProTeam at the start of this season – appeared to be taking his accident relatively lightly, perhaps aware that things could have been a lot worse.

"Nothing broken – except one or two teeth – but I've had the biggest fright of my life," the 27-year-old wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening. "A rider's worst fear? Finding yourself without brakes on a fast descent. Disc brakes are great except when… they don't brake!"

Teams these days are split roughly 50/50 on whether they use traditional rim brakes or the newer advent of disc brakes, with the preference gradually heading more and more to the latter. Pellaud's accident perhaps brings into question the supposed additional safety of disc brakes over rim brakes, however, although it's as yet unclear whether something was broken in his brake set-up, or whether they overheated during what is an extremely hilly one-day race.

Deceuninck-QuickStep's Mattia Cattaneo was another crash victim at the Giro dell'Emilia after hitting a stone on a downhill section of the race with around 35 kilometres to go. The Italian was left with a fractured vertebra, and will have to rest for between six and eight weeks before resuming training.

And Pellaud and Cattaneo are just two of a number of riders who have crashed since the season restarted in July after the sport's closedown in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Big-name riders such as Jumbo-Visma's Primoz Roglic and Steven Kruijswijk crashed out of the Critérium du Dauphiné last week, while Bora-Hansgrohe's Max Schachmann was left with a broken collarbone when an unauthorised car hit him on the course at Il Lombardia last weekend. Remco Evenepoel crashed and fell down a ravine, fracturing his pelvis, at the same race, and the Belgian's Deceuninck-QuickStep teammate, Fabio Jakobsen, was left fighting for his life after a sprint crash at the Tour de Pologne earlier this month, although the Dutch sprinter is now recovering from what are serious facial injuries.

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