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by Neal Rogers
June 23, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: UCI rule changes for 2018 include eight-man teams for Grand Tours, maximum peloton size of 176 riders; Team Sky announces Tour de France team intent on bringing Froome a fourth title; Froome: ‘This year’s Tour route doesn’t necessarily suit me’; BMC Racing announces Tour de France roster built around Richie Porte as sole leader; After runner-up finish at Giro d’Italia, Quintana ready to take on Froome at Tour de France; Gilbert seeking a third Belgian national road title in Antwerp; Tour de France champion Greg LeMond signs huge carbon fibre deal with Deakin University; Team Rwanda invited to Colorado Classic; Research delves into which nations hold overall best athletic prowess across all sports; Man rides 1,400 miles to hear deceased daughter’s heartbeat on Father’s Day
The UCI’s Professional Cycling Council (PCC) announced a number of rule changes following its second meeting of the year Tuesday in Geneva, Switzerland. Several decisions for the 2018 WorldTour were made — most notably, a decision was announced regarding a decrease in team size from nine to eight riders for Grand Tours, in addition to a 176-rider field limit for all WorldTour and Continental races.
The UCI wrote that the size of teams taking part in the three Grand Tours will be reduced from nine to eight, “assisting in efforts to ensure the safety of the peloton and the rest of the race convoy…These changes will be effective from the 2018 season.”
Another rule change was made in the name of safety — the amount of time that defines a “split” in the bunch, on field sprint stages, was expanded from one second to three seconds, in hopes of that GC riders will not feel pressured to stay close in field sprints to preserve their position.
“The revision changes the time gap for a split to three seconds – instead of one – and is intended to address the issue of increased stress and risk during Grand Tour bunch sprints, while retaining the sporting integrity of the sprint and stage,” the UCI said.
Also discussed in Geneva was the 2018 UCI WorldTour Calendar. The early season Abu Dhabi Tour will expand from four to five days while the 2018 Tour de France has been moved back one week to minimize overlap with the 2018 Fifa World Cup; the 2018 Tour will begin on July 7.
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