UCI reduces Grand Tour team sizes

Updated: 

Chris Froome will only have seven team-mates when he goes in search of a fifth Tour de France in 2018 after UCI regulations reduced the number of riders for Grand Tours.

Froome has enjoyed a sensational 2017 after winning both the Tour and Vuelta a Espana, the Briton benefiting from the support of his hard-working Team Sky colleagues.

However, the number will be reduced from 2018 as cycling's governing body look to improve the safety of riders, spectators and the race convoy.

Under new guidelines for next season the 18 World Tour teams will only be allowed to field eight-man squads at the Tour, Vuelta and Giro d'Italia, while all other events will be limited to just seven.

The UCI's decision - which was agreed at the Road World Championships in Bergen on Tuesday - will see the peloton size reduced to a maximum of 176 riders in all events on the calendar.

Reducing team sizes is something that Grand Tour organisers have been pushing for to try and open up the races and prevent one team from controlling proceedings - as Team Sky have done superbly to aid Froome's successes.