The organisers of most of cycling’s biggest races – who between them own all three Grand Tours and the five Monuments of the sport – have decided to reduce the number of riders permitted per team with effect from the start of the 2017 season.
The change was announced in a joint statement with Tour de France owner and Vuelta owner ASO, Giro d’Italia organiser RCS Sport and Flanders Classics, which owns races including the Tour of Flanders.
In the three Grand Tours – the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta – there will be eight riders per team instead of the current nine.
In shorter stage races such as Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico as well as one day races including Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Il Lombardia, there will be seven instead of the present eight.
The three organisations, which made the announcement following the general assembly of race organisers association AIOCCC, is said to have two objectives.
“The first [is] to improve the safety conditions for the riders with a smaller peloton on roads equipped with more and more street furniture," they said in a statement.
"The second, which is a fortunate consequence of the first, is to make it more difficult to dominate a race as well as enhance conditions for events to offer better racing for cycling fans."
In part, that latter point is thought to be linked to the dominant performance of Team Sky in the Tour de France in recent years, where the British outfit has often put a stranglehold on the race in the mountains by riding strongly at the front of the main group to negate potential attacks from rivals.
A spokesman for the UCI told road.cc: “We're waiting to see the minutes of the AIOCC meeting before commenting."
Meanwhile, the UCI has confirmed the WorldTour licences for the next two seasons, of 17 teams with one other, China-based TJ Sport, still under review by the Licence Commission.
Here’s the list of teams that have had their licences confirmed:
AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BMC RACING TEAM (USA)
BORA – HANSGROHE (GER)
CANNONDALE DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM (USA)
TEAM DIMENSION DATA (RSA)
QUICK STEP FLOORS (BEL)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
ORICA – BIKEEXCHANGE (AUS)
TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN (SUI)
TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO (NED)
TEAM SKY (GBR)
TEAM SUNWEB (GER)
TREK SEGAFREDO (USA)
Tony Blackburn? Isn't he dead yet? Why do third-rate celebs think their witterings are worth listening to?
Sounds to me like they're getting ripped off. People have thrown together Raspberry Pi hardware along with a camera (there's some excellent camera...
Would it be too simple to say the categories are based on sex, not on gender?
I had to go and look that up and can only agree with you. Quite a handsome Coat of Arms as well.
That G turn from 2km to 1km was something to boggle at, wasn't it. Cav was magnificent, the others especially Milan surprisingly faded. Lovely...
Think you've got hold of the wrong end of the stick there, testosterone is reduced by taking testosterone blockers, not by 'taking oestrogen'....
I concur GP4000 is the hardest I've ever had to mount on a rim, Ultegra wheelset in my case. Shifted the outer skin on my thumbs!...
Another one who deliberately misuses the term. Looking for trouble. Yeah because in London you have to stake out a road all day to find one offence.
Ticks a box, doesn't it?...
Normally I don't have a small enough violin for them but in this case I guess it's possible that their office / secretary / intern submitted this...