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by Shane Stokes
October 31, 2017
Mareczko best again with stage 3 victory in Tour of Hainan; Critic of Bahrain alleges torture after family members are jailed; An Post Chain Reaction/Sean Kelly team to take year out, sponsor talks continue; UCI President Lappartient wants team sizes to drop to six riders; Martina Ritter Steps up to Wiggle High 5; Demi de Jong moves to Lotto Soudal Ladies; Doris Schweizer stays with Team Virtu; Video: Teaser Worst Retirement Ever – Mt. Evans; Video: Tour de France Shanghai Critérium 2017; Video: Preview of the UCI world indoor championships.
David Lappartient speaks at the recent UCI Congress, where he was elected president. Photo by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com.
Although the UCI has already reduced the number of riders on teams for races to seven for many events and eight for Grand Tours, its new president David Lappartient is in favour of going even further. “At one time, teams had ten riders, then we managed to get it down to nine,” he told RMC. “But I’m in favour of going one step further – six riders per team would be better.”
The reduction in team sizes is intended to achieve two aims: the main motivation is to make the sport safer, with authorities arguing that a smaller bunch will lead to less crashes. Reducing the influence any one team can have on the race is thought to be another reason.
However there has been a negative consequence to the smaller race lineups which will be introduced in 2018; several teams have signed fewer riders as a result of this, thus making it more difficult for riders to secure contracts.
Lappartient also told RMC that he wants to ban race radios. “I’m not going to block the peloton immediately, but I think we’ll have to get there,” he said. “The national teams will therefore lack the tool for the next world championships in Innsbruck. If there were no headsets, I think we would have more interesting races, we would reduce the risks related to security, and we would eliminate the potential risks related to sports betting.”
Lappartient had previously said that he believed the radios could be used to unfairly influence the outcome of races in order to profit from gambling.