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  • 08.04.14

    Weekly Wibble : Braking Away

    Stuff and nonsense from the week in cycling. April 9: Disc brake dilemmas, Roubaix without a saddle and more...


Racing cyclists, four, leader has black and white jersey, cobbled road, Tour of Flanders 2014, Fabian Cancellara, Peter Sagan
Sagan at Flanders: broken without braking


Speed: it’s a funny old thing. Sometimes you can’t get enough of it; at other times, it can be a case of too much of a good thing. Especially when you haven’t spotted that raving Belgian and his fistful of frites until too late, resulting in a skid across the cobbles on your side like a discarded bidon. Handy things, brakes, occasionally. 

Fabian Cancellara proved that, once in a while, to win you need to slow things down a bit – namely, on the finishing straight in Oudenaarde, playing cat and mouse with a Belgian trio.

In the meantime, Cannondale had the enviable problem of accidental success, with Sagan taking stage one of De Panne – the Golden Globe Awards to Flanders’s Oscars – despite dabbing on the brakes before the finish line in a botched attempt to gift victory to team-mate Oscar Gatto. 

But maybe there’ll be no more failed anchor-feathering or impotent attempts at losing. Rumour has it that the UCI – who usually appear like the kind of folk still trying to fathom out fax machines while the rest of us are merrily tapping away on iPhones – are close to legalising the disc brake.

The decision lies with the thrillingly-named Wheel Committee. Yes, there is such a thing: we imagine they spend their office Christmas party discussing spoke tension and nodding along to Coldplay.

Cue months of long-winded safety discussions before a decision, a prime example of an area of cycling where getting a bit of a move on would be very welcome.

Imagine a cycling world with disc brakes: the bike industry all flush with money; riders able to stop on a sixpence whilst finessing for the finish.

Stijn Vandenbergh, better get practicing your track stands. We might even get a bit more credence from our off-road brethren.



3 – Number of riders in the top four of the Tour of Flanders with a surname beginning with Van.

0 – Number of aforementioned trio that actually drive a van.

0 – Number of French or Italian riders finishing in the top-ten at Flanders. None of them wore Vans. 


That most reliable of amusing Twitter posters, Jens Voigt, takes this week’s biscuit.

“Your husband was so kind to offer me one of your muffins. And WAUW – they are worldclass Top of the Top!"

We have nothing to add.



Tom Boonen winning the first of his four Roubaix cobbles in 2005. Where did the time go?

Cyclists over cobbles, slowed right down. 

Racing the Hell of the North without a saddle. Ouch.



April 2: No April Fools
March 26: 
Vincenzo NIbali and the 43 Eunuchs
March 19: Modern Life Is Rubbish
March 12: Black on the Chaingang
March 5: Holding On
Feburary 26: True Racing Returns
February 19: Just Deserts?

Did this wibble make you wobble? Aghast at the future of braking technology? Got a favourite Youtube video to share? Get in touch @rouleurmagazine on Twitter or by email.

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