Three years after disc brakes were first used at the professional level of the sport, Campagnolo’s disc brake groupset has been used for the first time at the Tour de France through Andre Greipel and Jasper De Buyst of Lotto-Soudal.
Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) raced on the same groupset at the Giro d’Italia last year, though a Campagnolo spokesman explained to BikeRadar ahead of stage two that this was the first time they have been used officially.
A plethora of new aero framesets have been launched in the week leading up to the Tour de France, including the Specialized Venge, Cannondale SystemSix, Trek Madone, BMC Timemachine Road and the new Ridley Noah Fast.
Like the new Trek Madone, Ridley offers its new framesets in both a rim and disc brake option, while the other framesets are offered exclusively in disc brake models.
Shimano and SRAM offered disc brake groupsets for the professional peloton and consumers before Campagnolo had one of its own available. However, in May 2017, the historic Italian component company launched H11 variants of its groupsets, offering hydraulic disc brakes in both mechanical and electric setups.
Campagnolo has confirmed in the past that both Movistar and Lotto-Soudal were involved in the development of the groupsets and although available for training and racing for well over twelve months, the opening stage of the Tour de France was the first time they have been seen being raced on at the WorldTour.
Ahead of stage one, Greipel confirmed to BikeRadar that it was the first time he had raced with disc brakes, but had been training with them a lot on both his road and mountain bike.
While Campagnolo makes specific cranksets for use with their disc groupsets, in an effort to improve chainline on bikes with slightly different geometries, Greipel’s Noah was equipped with a regular Campagnolo Super Record crankset.
Campagnolo sponsors Movistar and Lotto-Soudal at the WorldTour and while Lotto-Soudal has debuted the disc brake groupsets, Movistar has not yet been seen racing on them despite Canyon (their frameset supplier) offering their road race framesets in both rim and disc brake variants.
Campagnolo’s 12-speed groupset, which was launched earlier this year has not yet been used at the professional level.
For stage two of the race, Greipel switched back to a rim brake version of the Ridley Noah Fast, saying he had more confidence with a bike he was completely used to in the high-stress sprint finales.
Jasper De Buyst continued to race on the disc brake equipped bike for the second stage.