Katie Compton’s season came to an end on Saturday when a crash in the opening laps of Krawatencross Lille left her with a deep wound on her knee, apparently caused by a competitors disc brake rotor. The American national champion was able to continue racing the final round of DVV Trofee cyclocross series after receiving a shoe change in the pits, finishing the day in seventh place. Compton, who has been on strong form all season, already had enough of a lead in the Ijsboerke Ladies Trophy overall to maintain her series victory title. The injury is an unfortunate end to an incredible season for the resurgent Compton, who finished second during a fierce battle with Sanne Cant a week ago at Valkenburg cyclocross world championships in the Netherlands.
Injuries from disc rotors are rare in cyclocross, where the UCI has allowed the use of disc brakes since 2010, and Compton’s injury is unlikely to stir up any controversy in the pits. Road cycling, though, has been much more skittish about the transition from rim brakes to disk brakes, and the UCI is currently in the fourth year of allowing the braking system to be used in the road peloton on a trial basis. While mountain bikes have used disc’s for decades, and they’re near-universally accepted in cyclocross, both the UCI and groups of professional riders have voiced their concerns over the safety of disc rotors in larger road peloton. The debate took a particularly spectacular turn when, after Fran Ventoso suffered a deep cut he attributed to a disc rotor during Paris-Roubaix in 2016, the rotors were said to cut riders ‘like giant knives.’ Based on an image of Compton’s wound posted to social media by her husband and mechanic Mark Legg, there appeared to be the same clean, deep cut as suffered by Ventoso.