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.


Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.