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UCI tells race organisers team sizes must remain the same for 2017

Governing body says parties had agreed to monitor the implications of such a change before making a decision

Less than 24 hours after major race organisers announced plans to reduce maximum team sizes in 2017, the UCI have told them that they cannot. The sport’s governing body says that such changes must be agreed by the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) and it had already been agreed there would be no change for the coming season.

In a joint statement from ASO, RCS Sport and Flanders Classics, it was announced that the three Grand Tours would feature eight riders per team instead of the current nine, while shorter stage races and one-day classics would have seven riders instead of the current eight.

It was said that the twin aims were to improve the safety conditions for riders by having a smaller peloton on the road, and to make it more difficult for a team to dominate a given race.

However, in a statement today, the sport’s governing body said:

“Whilst a potential reduction in team sizes may reflect a view held by some stakeholders, including some race organisers, any changes to the regulations governing men's professional road cycling must be agreed by the Professional Cycling Council (PCC), on which the race organisers are fully represented.

“This subject was discussed at the last PCC meeting in November 2016, and it was agreed to consider in detail the implications of such reduction over the coming months, with no change for 2017.”

The UCI announcement may come as a relief to team owners concerned by the short notice.

Cannondale-Drapac team boss Jonathan Vaughters tweeted:

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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