That UCI rule on team size (Garmin edition)

If Cervélo claimed “subtle changes” in the UCI rules caused their Test Team’s demise then the other UCI rules may also hamper the ambition of Garmin-Transitions to sign several of their riders.

Why? Well the UCI imposes a limit on the number of riders a ProTour team can employ. Here’s the relevant rule:

2.15.110 Riders
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…

Number of new professionals Maximum number of riders
0 28
1 29
2-5 30

In plain English, no team can ever have more than 30 riders.

The Garmin case
Indeed it seems Garmin aren’t signing any neo-pros, the three riders due to join them have apparently been told their contracts are on hold for at least a year and they’ve been offered a berth in the U-23 Holowesko squad, the development part of the Slipstream team. So it could be the team is capped at 28 riders.

But note that Jonathan Vaughters currently has 27 riders on his team, plus there’s an agreement in place to take Christophe Le Mevel from FDJ. If this is so the rules say he actually can’t take on any more riders… unless some of the existing Garmin riders are bumped.

Maybe this is situation where the rules could be eased but other teams may raise objections at the prospect of such a massive squad.