Teams to be restricted to seven riders per race, eight for Grand Tours

Peloton will be limited to a maximum of 176 riders from 2018 season for reasons of safety under new regulations introduced by the UCI

Tour de France peloton.
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

The total number of riders in a road race will be restricted to 176, with teams restricted to seven riders in men's one-day and shorter races, and eight for Grand Tours to improve safety in races.

The Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) approved the introduction of the new regulations governing team sizes at a meeting at the World Championships in Bergen, Norway, on Tuesday.

In a statement issued by the UCI, it says the regulations will apply to all events in the UCI International Road Calendar.

>>> Grand Tour teams to be reduced from nine to eight riders from 2018

The Grand Tours comprise the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España. Prior to the new rule, teams consisted of nine riders in each race.

Women's WorldTour races will now include teams of six riders for one-day events and seven for stage races.

The UCI says the new regulations have been introduced to "improve the safety of the riders, spectators and the race convoy".

The reduction in the number of riders in races comes after calls have been made in recent seasons after a spate of incidents involving race vehicles colliding with riders.

Most notably, Belgian rider Antoine Demoitié of the Wanty-Groupe Gobert team died of his injuries after colliding with a race motorbike during the 2016 edition of Ghent-Wevelgem.

Regulations have already been introduced by the UCI to restrict the number of race vehicles, and how they move around within races.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1