Eneco Tour, Tour of Poland target of UCI team size experiment

The UCI has confirmed to Cyclingnews that the two WorldTour races invited to take part in an experiment using six-rider teams are the Eneco Tour and Tour of Poland.

The UCI's Professional Cycling Council this month approved a project to test using six-rider teams and a new system of bonus points based on intermediate sprints.

The organisers of the Tour of Poland also confirmed to Cyclingnews they are considering taking part in the experiment, and the race’s general director Czesław Lang is expected to give a final decision to the UCI in the coming days.

Even if Lang agrees to reduce team size to six riders, race spokesperson Mirco Piermarini said the number of teams would not be increased for the 2013 edition, because of the start in Italy. The race will have 23 teams, 19 WorldTour squads and four wildcards, but could see a greatly reduced peloton.

“In my opinion it is a way to change the racing dynamic because this kind of decision can help all the riders that are not in a strong team, or they haven’t a strong team in some race to have a chance to compete in the general classification,” Piermarini said.

“The second very important point is the safety of the race.” A peloton of 138 riders instead of 184, “is easier for the organizer to guarantee the safety, but is more safe for the riders as well to ride in a smaller group in my opinion.”

The race will consider increasing the number of teams to 25 for future editions, should the test prove successful.

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