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Marcel Kittel, Quick-Step’s burly sprinter, is not the first to use disc brakes in the 2017 Tour de France. That honor goes to Cannondale’s Alberto Bettiol, who used a disc-equipped Cannondale SuperSlice TT bike during the opening stage. Nor is the German the only one using discs during stage two — we spotted Michael Matthews’s bike adorned with disc brakes as well.
But Kittel may very well be the first to seriously contend a stage of the Tour de France with a disc-equipped bicycle, as the rolling stage 2 course from Düsseldorf to Liège favors the sprinting contingent of the peloton. The conditions are an ideal testing ground for the controversial stoppers, with rain in the forecast from start to finish.
And to dispel yet another talking point regarding any potential downsides to disc brakes, Kittel required a wheel change early on in the stage. It appears to have gone off without a hitch.