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Arkéa Samsic sprinter Hugo Hofstetter has been left with 35 stitches in his ear after making contact with a disc brake in a racing crash.
The French pro came down on the wet and wild fourth stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe last week and fell into a wheel leaving him with a cut requiring immediate surgery.
Hofstetter posted an image of the deep gash to his helmet this weekend and resurfaced the long-rumbling debate over the safety of disc brakes in the pro peloton.
“When will there be covers for the discs UCI cycling, I would have avoided 35 stitches in my ear?” he wrote on Twitter.
— Hugo Hofstetter (@hugohofstetter) April 10, 2022
Disc brakes are now a widely accepted mainstay of top-level racing, with teams typically only reverting to rim systems where weight-saving is seen as essential.
The initial introduction of disc brake technology met with mixed approval in the pro peloton.
Some questioned the propriety of some riders using fast-stopping discs while others were managing the different deceleration offered by rim brakes.
The use of the exposed razor-sharp discs in a sport riddled with crashes was also a major talking point. Both cyclocross veteran Katie Compton and rising road racer Matteo Jorgenson pointed toward discs as the cause of deep cuts they sustained in recent racing crashes.
[Bulletin médical] ❌
K.Vauquelin et L.Pichon présentent de petites plaies suite à la chute dans laquelle ils ont été pris […] H.Hofstetter, lui, avait une plaie importante à l’oreille, nécessitant une prise en charge chirurgicale.
Bon courage les gars 💪 pic.twitter.com/rGz6aAvRc0
— Team Arkéa Samsic (@Arkea_Samsic) April 8, 2022
Hofstetter’s injury is part of what has been an incident-riddled week for Arkéa Samsic.
Nacer Bouhanni was left in hospital after a dramatic crash at the Tour of Turkey on Monday in a stage that also saw both Nairo and Dayer Quintana crashing just 4km from the finish line.
Hofstetter is slated to race Paris-Roubaix this weekend and – should he be fit to start – is one of Andrew Hood’s dark horses for the “Hell of the North.”
From Gear Guide 2021