BMC Racing have announced that they will reduce their roster to 24 riders from 29 for the 2018 season, after the UCI announced earlier this year that the men’s peloton size will be reduced to 176 riders in 2018 races.
Cycling’s governing body announced in September during the World Championships that total riders in races would be reduced for safety reasons, however concerns have been previously raised by some riders that such a move could leave fewer spaces for riders in WorldTour teams.
Grand Tours will see teams reduced down to eight riders each, while one-day races and shorter stage races will see teams capped at seven riders each. Regulations will apply to all events in the UCI International Road Calendar.
BMC are the biggest team so far to announce a reduction of their rider roster, with four new riders – Alberto Bettiol, Patrick Bevin, Simon Gerrans and Jürgen Roelandts joining the squad.
The American team have waved goodbye to a number of riders through transfers to other teams, including Italian Classics specialist Daniel Oss who moves to Bora-Hansgrohe and Frenchman Amäel Moinard to Fortuneo-Oscaro.
Meanwhile, Italian time triallist Manuel Quinziato retires and former Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez was sacked by the team after his doping positive, though was out of contract at the end of the 2017 season.
Despite the unfortunate news of Sanchez’s positive test towards the end of the season, BMC recorded their best ever season in 2017 with 48 victories (22 at WorldTour level), the highest ever by the team, while Greg Van Avermaet took the UCI WorldTour title.
Much of the success came through Belgian Van Avermaet, who went on a storming Classics campaign that saw him win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke, Ghent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix. Richie Porte gave the team some success in WorldTour stage races at the Tour Down Under and the Tour de Romandie, although missed out on a high placing at the Tour de France after a bad crash.