Kelderman blames disc brakes after losing 10 minutes at Giro d'Italia

Giro d’Italia 2022 - 105th Edition - 9th stage Isernia - Blockhaus 191 km - 15/05/2022 - Wilco Kelderman (NED - Bora - Hansgrohe) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022
Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) tackles a descent during stage 9 of the Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Having started the Giro d'Italia so strongly, Wilco Kelderman's GC challenge came undone on stage 9, with the Dutchman attributing part of the blame to disc brakes, reigniting the disc brakes vs rim brakes debate once again.

Kelderman, who placed fifth and seventh on the opening two stages in Hungary, lost contact with the main bunch ahead of the final climb of the Blockhaus, where he went on to lose more than 10 minutes. 

The Bora-Hansgrohe rider struggled up the steep 13.6km climb and would later cite back pain as a cause for his struggles, but it was a mechanical problem that had put him on the back foot before the climb had even begun. 

Kelderman had to stop twice on the descent from the Passo Lanciano, changing his bike on both occasions. He apparently suffered a broken spoke, which he claimed was caused by his disc brakes becoming overheated.

"On the descent of the penultimate climb I broke a spoke from my wheel. I think the disc brakes get very hot and those spokes then get warm," Kelderman explained to Dutch outlet AD.

"They just collapsed because of the pressure, because it was a very fast descent."

Disc rotors increase in temperature under heavy braking and, although they are designed so as not to overheat, it has been cited as a problem by those reluctant to adopt the new technology, such as Chris Froome

Kelderman was already well down on the bunch when the climb up the Blockhaus began, and he largely had to fend for himself while the rest of the overall contenders followed the Ineos Grenadiers train. 

"I had to change bikes twice and then I was already exhausted before the climb started. Then I knew it wasn't going to work anymore," he said. "I also had some back pain, so it wasn't my day. It just sucks."

Kelderman now finds himself out of contention for the overall title, although his teammate Jai Hindley – who joined him on the final Giro podium in 2020 after a contentious penultimate stage when both rode for DSM – went on to win the stage. 

Kelderman, whose preparations for the Giro were hampered by a heavy crash and concussion at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, will now turn his attention to stage wins. 

"Physically it's okay now, but I do have some pains. It was a short time to get back. The first stages went well, then people quickly think I'm okay, but now it's just beginning. 

"I'm happy that Jai won and that the team is in good shape. The Giro is not over yet. Maybe I can still go for a stage win. The preparation was just not good. You hope it's good enough, but you know it's going to be hard. That's too bad. It is also a fair sport."

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Patrick Fletcher

Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist, and former deputy editor of Cyclingnews, who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.