There has been considerable discussion over the disk brake rule recently. While the rule has always been in effect in the UCI Competition Rules which the ITU follows, the ITU has recently decided to highlight the rule in one of their more recent communique’s. Enforcement of the rule, as we’ve discovered, has not been consistent amongst the provinces and most of the PSOs are lobbying to have the rule reversed or softened in order to support participation and grassroots growth.
As a national federation, Triathlon Canada cannot simply change or modify the ITU Competition Rules. Triathlon Canada is a fully accredited NF within the ITU family and following the Competition Rules is an essential part of that relationship. Triathlon Canada events are the final step to qualify to ITU World status events where disk brakes have never been allowed. Disk brakes have proven unsafe in UCI testing and until industry is able to successfully address the hazards of their design the disk brake ban will continue. Modification and testing of disk braking technology is ongoing.
Triathlon Canada is cognizant of the fact that disk brakes have infiltrated the marketplace and some of the people who purchase these bikes will attempt a triathlon or related multisport. The inherent risk of injury in a draft illegal race is minimal. As promoters of the sport we have an obligation to support and encourage participation. For this reason I sent out a call for volunteers from provincial technical representatives to form a working committee to address the disk brake issue at the provincial level. Andrew Armstrong (TriBC) and Andrew Dacanay (TriNS) volunteered to take the lead on the issue. I’m appreciative of their time and comprehensive analysis undertaken by them on this issue (see attachment). I believe they have crafted a statement that encompasses what the majority of PSOs are currently enforcing. The statement addresses the issue of ensuring a common approach across all provinces while advocating for participation and supporting the integrity of the national qualifying standards for World Championships. Triathlon Canada does support the statement and recommends PSOs ratify the same or similar statement locally after checking with their insurance provider.
“Disc brakes will be allowed in all sanctioned races except draft legal races and races with national qualifying positions. This position will be reviewed and adjusted as necessary based on the status of the ITU rules. This decision is taken for the best interests of all athletes, to encourage and welcome participation, and to support the goals of Triathlon Canada on the international fields of play.”
An education aspect to rule enforcement is recommended as well. Should an athlete appear in transition prior to a race with disk brakes they should be made aware of the current disk brake rule so they may make informed decisions when making future equipment purchases.
Once again, thank you Andrew Armstrong and Andrew Dacanay for leading this initiative on behalf of the provinces.
Triathlon Canada – Technical and Events Director