Tour de France organisers still hopeful of reducing team sizes

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme hasn't given up hope of reducing team sizes

Team Sky on stage 15 of the 2016 Tour de France (Credit: Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

Attempts to reduce the sizes of teams in a number of major races are not off the table, according to Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme.

In November ASO (organisers of the Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and Paris-Roubaix, among others), RCS Sport (organisers of the Giro d’Italia, Milan-San Remo, and Il Lombardia), Flanders Classics (organisers of the Tour of Flanders and Ghent-Wevelgem among others), and the International Association of Cycling Race Organisers (AIOCC) announced plans to reduce the number of riders in major races.

The plans would have seen the number of riders in each Grand Tour team reduced from nine to eight, and the sizes of teams in other events reduced from eight to seven.

Watch: Tour de France essential guide

However the announcement was swiftly rebuffed by the UCI, which said that only its Professional Cycling Council (PCC) had the power to make such changes, and some team managers, who argued that reducing the sizes of teams would put riders out of work.

But speaking to Sporza (opens in new tab), Prudhomme said that he still hoped to bring about the changes.

"The discussions are still ongoing, but I hope that in future we can reduce the number of riders," he said.

Prudhomme is one of two race organisers on the PCC, which also consists of six members appointed by the UCI, a riders' representative, a representative from the riders' union, and two team representatives.

The PCC has the power to reduce team sizes, but only with the agreement of nine of the 12 members.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.