Tyre manufacturer Vittoria insists recent Thomas De Gendt crash "is unrelated to the hookless rim design" despite heavy criticism

After Thomas De Gendt crashed out of the UAE Tour last week, CPA boss Adam Hansen publically criticised the use of hookless rims. Now, tyre manufacturer, Vittoria has hit back.

"If you look at the images of Thomas de Gendt's bike, you see that his tire came off, the safety foam on the inside got stuck in the fork and the front wheel locked up," said Hansen to Velo after De Gendt's crash. There are many people who want to ban this in the peloton, because you can literally take down other riders. One day there will be a massive crash."

In a responding statement, Vittoria has pleaded the innocence of the design, citing a variety of other reasons for the crash. "In the aftermath of Thomas De Gendt's crash during the UAE Tour last week, there has been some discussion about the hookless system. It is crucial to clarify that the rim's failure resulted from an impact with an object, in this case, a rock, and is unrelated to the hookless rim design,” reads the statement. “The intensity of the impact caused the rim/wheel to break in a manner that prevented the tyre from staying securely in place. The force was so severe that it tore apart the tyre insert."

“It's important to emphasise that the accident was not a result of any compatibility issues among the components utilised by the team. The Vittoria Corsa PRO 28mm TLR underwent extensive testing on various hookless commercial wheels, including Zipp models (such as 353NSW),” concludes the statement. “The compatibility was thoroughly validated through laboratory tests, outdoor field tests, and races, with official communication provided through the SRAM website. As members of ETRTO, we consistently develop our products in strict adherence to ETRTO norms, encompassing both current ETRTO standards and "Previous Standard Data (PSD)."

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