Max team size explained

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The coverage of Astana, Andrei Kasheckin and Roman Kireyev on this blog has involved the rule on team size. Whether by email, twitter or comments, readers have been asking “isn’t the upper limit 30 and not 28?”

I’ve tried to answer this individually but on the basis that if someone asks a question aloud then maybe others are thinking about it too, here’s the answer:

2.15.110 Riders The number of riders in each UCI ProTeam may not be fewer than twenty-three (23). The maximum number of riders per UCI ProTeam which may be registered with the UCI is restricted according to the number of new professionals under contract (within the meaning of article 7 of the joint agreement concluded between the CPA (Cyclistes Professionnels Associés – Associated Professional Cyclists) and the AIGCP (Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels – International Association of Professional Cycling Teams) in the following manner:

Number of new professionals under contract to the UCI ProTeam Maximum number of riders registered with the UCI
0 28
1 29
2-5 30

So a squad with 2-5 neo pro riders can have 30, whilst a team without a neo-pro is capped at 28. It’s a small incentive to recruit new riders. Note that a rider is classed as a “neo” in their first two years. Thus a rider who joined the pro ranks in 2010 is still a neo-pro.

In addition teams can hire stagiaires or trainees from the 1 August. Here’s rule 2.15.100 bis:

In addition, in the period between 1 August and the end of the year, each UCI ProTeam may admit into the team three elite or under 23 riders

The full text of the rule goes on to state that the UCI has to be informed when riders are recruited this way. Note that the upper limit is three. Guess which team has four riders at the moment:

Astana stagiaires

But this time Astana sought permission from the UCI to hire an extra rider and it was duly granted. Makes a change…

ave August 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Astana should make another pro team, like in Formula-1 the Red Bull / Torro Rosso combo.
That would come a lot of sense, innit? :)

Qwerty August 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Why have rules if you can apply to opt out ??

Tim August 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Surprised there isnt a high level Red Bull cycling team already tbh…they seem to sponsor everything else!

Dave August 25, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Two teams? Why stop there? How about THREE teams like ANC had in the 1987(?) season? At the time the BCF limited domestic teams to a measly 6 riders, so there were three ANC incarnations, from which riders were pooled for continental events like the Tour.

CGradeCyclist August 26, 2011 at 1:51 am

Amazing. So you get obsessive regulation of rules like ‘level saddle supports’ (?!), and non-aero shoes (sorry Bont).

Then with things like teh actual number of riders you can have in a team, a clear unambiguous rule, you have the UCI just shrugging and saying “Oh yeah, we kinda thought Vinowas doing this, but it’ll all sort itself out in the wash…”

The inconsistency is breathtaking… For me at least, the UCI simply have no credibility as a governing organisation.

Duluth Baptist Clydesdale August 26, 2011 at 9:12 pm

@Tim, Red Bull only sponsors sports that provide return on in investment. It seems cycling is not one of those sports.

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