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UCI reduces team sizes in top races including Tour de France

Maximum number of riders permitted in Grand Tours down to eight from nine due to safety concerns

World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has reduced the number of riders that will be allowed to take part in men’s road races, including the Tour de France, citing safety reasons.

Currently, a maximum of nine riders per team are allowed to participate in the three Grand Tours, but the UCI management committee has agreed to reduce that to eight, giving a maximum of 176 riders in those races instead of the current 198.

For all other men’s races, teams will be permitted to field at most seven riders, while in the UCI Women’s WorldTour, the maximum size of each team will be six in one-day races and seven in stage races.

The governing body also awarded a number of world championships, as follows:  

• 2018 UCI Four-cross World Championships: Val di Sole (Italy)

• 2018 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

• 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships: Pruszkow (Poland)

• 2019 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships: Apeldoorn (Netherlands)

• 2019 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: Basel (Switzerland)

• 2019 and 2020 UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships: Manchester (Great Britain)

• 2020 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships: Vancouver/Whistler (Canada)

• 2020 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships: Dübendorf (Switzerland)

“Hosting our annual World Championships always arouses great interest, among both seasoned organisers and new ones from regions or cities that will host one of our highest-profile competitions for the first time,” commented UCI president Brian Cookson.

“This demonstrates both the strong historical roots of our World Championships and the development of our disciplines into new areas,” added Cookson, who tomorrow seeks a second four-year term in office as the UCI World Congress meets.

The Briton is facing a challenge to his leadership from France’s David Lappartient.

The UCI Road World Championships continue in Bergen, Norway today with the elite men’s time trial.

 

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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19 comments

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peted76 | 6 years ago
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It'll be really interesting to see how this pans out, in GT's it'll surely mean more breakaways and simply less wiggle room for teams..  

It might mean teams will send better riders to more races? 

 

LOL at getting ye old helmet debate into this thread, brill  1

 

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usedtobefaster | 6 years ago
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I wonder how many out of contract riders at the end of this season won't be able to get team places in 2018 because of this - not good for the job prospects for pro riders down lowerer on the UCI rankings

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Rapha Nadal replied to usedtobefaster | 6 years ago
0 likes

usedtobefaster wrote:

I wonder how many out of contract riders at the end of this season won't be able to get team places in 2018 because of this - not good for the job prospects for pro riders down lowerer on the UCI rankings

Quite.  And support staff, mechanics etc.

The UCI are such a forward thinking bunch, aren't they...

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Alessandro replied to Rapha Nadal | 6 years ago
1 like
Rapha Nadal wrote:

usedtobefaster wrote:

I wonder how many out of contract riders at the end of this season won't be able to get team places in 2018 because of this - not good for the job prospects for pro riders down lowerer on the UCI rankings

Quite.  And support staff, mechanics etc.

The UCI are such a forward thinking bunch, aren't they...

Damned if they do and damned if they don't, surely? Keep teams at 9 riders and teams have a higher cost base; reduce the numbers and people can find themselves without a job. 

Perhaps in the future they will allow additional teams to compete so that we have a situation where there are just as many riders in the peloton as there are now but with more teams. That would ensure that teams like Sky are unable to control races in the manner that they do now and also mean that good riders do not find themselves unemployed. 

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alansmurphy replied to Alessandro | 6 years ago
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Alessandro wrote:

Sky are unable to control races in the manner that they do now and also mean that good riders do not find themselves unemployed. 

 

We all know that's the reason...

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crazy-legs replied to usedtobefaster | 6 years ago
2 likes
usedtobefaster wrote:

I wonder how many out of contract riders at the end of this season won't be able to get team places in 2018 because of this - not good for the job prospects for pro riders down lowerer on the UCI rankings

It'll make no difference at all.

UCI teams are required to employ a certain number of riders and the age range has to be within certain parameters (there's an "average age must not exceed X" rule). There are also rules around payment (minimum wage) and the support structure in place so riders are actually very well looked after.

There's also a maximum number of race days per year that a rider is allowed to do - if you want to exceed that you have to apply to the UCI and the reasons given have to be very good indeed. Usually used as an absolute last resport to cover illness or injury. So I'd imagine it'll make the teams much easier to manage while still ensuring that riders are employed.

It'll be slightly cheaper for the teams at the big races, it should give slightly less predictable / controlled racing as well so all in all, it's a positive move.

But y'know, by all means just engage in the usual UCI-bashing, I'd hate to see facts and things get in the way of your opportunities to slag them off.

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Grahamd | 6 years ago
1 like

If it is for safety what about disc brakes....

(Ducks for cover)

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds replied to Grahamd | 6 years ago
0 likes
Grahamd wrote:

If it is for safety what about disc brakes....

(Ducks for cover)

Typical uneducated comment, lack of braking power is not and never has being the problem, it's reckless behaviour by people on bikes pushing the boundaries at the wrong moment and failing to respect other riders and the conditions/environment that causes most of the crashes, that and lack of concentration when fatigued.

Disc brakes lure riders into thinking they can brake later (take greater risk), as with all new and improved brakes and/or tyres, similar in the case of 'safety' aids  were sub-consciously riders take greater risks. This ALWAYS ends up with the same if not worse outcomes than before because the excessive behaviour of the human outweighs the benefit. Again this is proven so often not just in cycling circles.

You also fail to understand that the limiting factor is the grip/traction of the tyres, in the wet it's the tyres that let go,  in the pro ranks it's very rarely being about not enough braking power. Also panic braking because you've left the braking too late or gone into a turn too quickly ends up with same outcome if not worse, as seen all too frequently in the pro ranks.

Discs will not solve this issue, reducing the numbers won't  and to suggest it's done for safety is bollocks as we've had 200+ BITD (with teams of 10 until 1987) and a lot fewer crashes and injuries, not riding like a newbie twunt and respecting your environ will, oh and get rid of the plastic hats that lure the riders to ride like crunts would help focus their riding a bit more and maybe also those around them to give them more space and respect.

 

Avatar
CygnusX1 replied to BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
2 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
Grahamd wrote:

If it is for safety what about disc brakes....

(Ducks for cover)

Typical uneducated comment, lack of braking power is not and never has being the problem, it's reckless behaviour by people on bikes pushing the boundaries

Take a chill pill, Grahamd was commenting in jest

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds replied to CygnusX1 | 6 years ago
0 likes
CygnusX1 wrote:
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
Grahamd wrote:

If it is for safety what about disc brakes....

(Ducks for cover)

Typical uneducated comment, lack of braking power is not and never has being the problem, it's reckless behaviour by people on bikes pushing the boundaries

Take a chill pill, Grahamd was commenting in jest

And I was just commenting and pointing out the actualities, y'know because that's what you do on forums in response to trolls who make uneducated comments deliberately aimed to stir shit up.

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Rapha Nadal replied to BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
0 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
CygnusX1 wrote:
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
Grahamd wrote:

If it is for safety what about disc brakes....

(Ducks for cover)

Typical uneducated comment, lack of braking power is not and never has being the problem, it's reckless behaviour by people on bikes pushing the boundaries

Take a chill pill, Grahamd was commenting in jest

And I was just commenting and pointing out the actualities, y'know because that's what you do on forums in response to trolls who make uneducated comments deliberately aimed to stir shit up.

Oh, the fucking irony. You are the worst troll on the internet.  A twat under the avatar Superpython and a twat under the avatar of BehindTheBikeSheds.  Quit the internet.

Avatar
Sniffer replied to BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
1 like
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
Grahamd wrote:

If it is for safety what about disc brakes....

(Ducks for cover)

Typical uneducated comment, lack of braking power is not and never has being the problem, it's reckless behaviour by people on bikes pushing the boundaries at the wrong moment and failing to respect other riders and the conditions/environment that causes most of the crashes, that and lack of concentration when fatigued.

Disc brakes lure riders into thinking they can brake later (take greater risk), as with all new and improved brakes and/or tyres, similar in the case of 'safety' aids  were sub-consciously riders take greater risks. This ALWAYS ends up with the same if not worse outcomes than before because the excessive behaviour of the human outweighs the benefit. Again this is proven so often not just in cycling circles.

You also fail to understand that the limiting factor is the grip/traction of the tyres, in the wet it's the tyres that let go,  in the pro ranks it's very rarely being about not enough braking power. Also panic braking because you've left the braking too late or gone into a turn too quickly ends up with same outcome if not worse, as seen all too frequently in the pro ranks.

Discs will not solve this issue, reducing the numbers won't  and to suggest it's done for safety is bollocks as we've had 200+ BITD (with teams of 10 until 1987) and a lot fewer crashes and injuries, not riding like a newbie twunt and respecting your environ will, oh and get rid of the plastic hats that lure the riders to ride like crunts would help focus their riding a bit more and maybe also those around them to give them more space and respect.

 

You really can find a way to get helmets into any thread. 

Impressive in a SuperPython way.

I am not even sure if grahamd's comment was for or against disc brakes, but if it helps you to get all that anger out then go for it anyway.

I am not sure that you educate people much by starting 'Typical uneducated comment'.  People tend to switch off if you start like that.

Avatar
Moza replied to Grahamd | 6 years ago
2 likes
Grahamd wrote:

If it is for safety what about disc brakes....

(Ducks for cover)

 

//media.giphy.com/media/JSqsZp9e4sIsE/giphy.gif)

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kitsunegari | 6 years ago
0 likes

You can't cut the number of motos. It's footage from these camera bikes that makes them money.

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kil0ran | 6 years ago
4 likes

Surely cutting number of motos and dangerous descents like the one that took out Richie Porte would do more to improve safety?

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Alessandro replied to kil0ran | 6 years ago
0 likes
kil0ran wrote:

Surely cutting number of motos and dangerous descents like the one that took out Richie Porte would do more to improve safety?

Agree with the first point but not necessarily the second.

On the first one, I think that the development of drone technology could help with maintaining the level of coverage that we, as viewers, demand but still ensure rider safety. Clearly that depends on the drones staying in the air as opposed to conking out and crashing down on top of someone flying down the side of a mountain at 100kmph. 

On your second point, I don't think that descents in themselves are dangerous; it's the riders pushing the limits that makes them dangerous. If you or I pootled down that same mountain on the brakes the whole way then I would suggest we'd make it to the bottom in one piece. Speaking from absolutely no experience whatsoever, I'd imagine that Porte felt the need to push things a bit too far in order to stay with that group and off he came. Perhaps I'm being too harsh on him but descending is a skill and one that he isn't as good at as others. I know from personal experience that I descend like a helium balloon while a number of friends seem to drop like stones, probably through a mixture of insanity, no fear and skill. 

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Yorkshire wallet replied to Alessandro | 6 years ago
3 likes
Alessandro wrote:

[

On your second point, I don't think that descents in themselves are dangerous; it's the riders pushing the limits that makes them dangerous.

Exactly. I hate it when a road gets coined dangerous because people crash on it, even if it's a road like the cat n' fiddle in the UK where all the bikers love to go fast. The road isn't doing anything, it's inanimate tarmac. The people on it are dangerous.

It's really annoying when people say 'the road' caught them out. No, you just didn't pay any attention to signs and adjust your speed to the conditions. Even corners that aren't challenging seem to have warning signs on these days. It's not like you driving down the road when suddenly it comes to life and the straight becomes a hard negative camber left.

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alansmurphy replied to Yorkshire wallet | 6 years ago
2 likes
Yorkshire wallet wrote:

 

Exactly. I hate it when a road gets coined dangerous because people crash on it, even if it's a road like the cat n' fiddle in the UK where all the bikers love to go fast. The road isn't doing anything, it's inanimate tarmac. The people on it are dangerous.

It's really annoying when people say 'the road' caught them out. No, you just didn't pay any attention to signs and adjust your speed to the conditions. 

 

After running out of talent on Ventoux I can agree to the latter, over-confidence and lack of knowledge of the road or bike I was on were quite costly.

 

Went down the Cat Sunday with its usual wash of rain, first proper descent since Ventoux, you'll never have seen anyone braking so early for corners. Think I may have a Strava Loser of the Mountain award...

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds replied to kil0ran | 6 years ago
0 likes
kil0ran wrote:

Surely cutting number of motos and dangerous descents like the one that took out Richie Porte would do more to improve safety?

Richie Porte made a massive and fundamental newbie error, that being not steering around the bend, he basically cut the corner off. Not that he intended too but because at that moment he simply wasn't good enough/not able to navigate what was in fact a not particularly difficult nor dangerous bit of road, they weren't exactly hammering it down. The only thing dangerous was Richie Porte.

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