There is a wide gap varying between 40 to 100 per cent in the vaccination rate amongst professional cycling teams, it has been found.
The UCI conducted a survey over the off-season months amongst the men's and women's teams who belong to the top two divisions in the pro pyramid and found there are discrepancies in the vaccination coverage between different teams.
The identity of the teams with low vaccination rates have not been identified by cycling's governing body but they have said that in 75 per cent of teams more than 80 per cent of riders and support staff are fully vaccinated.
A higher proportion of support staff members are fully vaccinated compared to riders, with total vaccination rates of 85 per cent and 79 per cent respectively. Meanwhile, the women's squads have higher vaccination coverage than their male counterparts, 97 per cent of women's WorldTeams compared to 79 per cent of men's WorldTour and 86 per cent of men's ProTeam outfits.
The UCI has declared the overall state of affairs "good" and has encouraged teams "to ensure that as many riders in the peloton as possible are vaccinated, and the third dose of the vaccine is strongly recommended".
The UCI has also updated its Covid protocols ahead of the new season, adopting the simple principle that the strictest rules apply, whether that be those of the country hosting the race or the UCI itself.
This updated protocol comes into effect from Monday January 24 and will apply to all road races on the international calendar.
A lot of the measures remain the same from last year, with the UCI still not requiring riders or staff to be vaccinated in order to be part of the team bubble at races. Instead, the unvaccinated just have to show a negative PCR test within 48 hours of competition.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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