The UCI has removed Zaaf Cycling Team from its list of registered teams after eight riders quit following allegations that the team have not paid salaries, leaving only seven riders currently remaining on its roster.
The UCI has confirmed to Cyclingnews that a seven-rider roster is below the minimum of eight riders that the sport governing body requires for a team to obtain a Continental women’s team licence, and as such, the team does not currently meet those requirements.
“Please be informed, that according to the UCI Regulations (Part 2 – Road Races – art. 2.17.004), a UCI Women’s Continental team must have a minimum of 8 riders,” a representative of the UCI wrote to Cyclingnews on Friday.
“Since ZAAF Cycling Team does not currently meet the requirements for registration as a UCI Women’s Continental team, the team has been removed from the list of registered teams.”
The UCI regulations article 2.17.004 states that a UCI continental women’s team must have a minimum of 8 riders and a maximum of 16 riders with the option to add four riders specialising in other endurance cycling disciplines.
Cyclingnews asked the UCI if there is the possibility for the Zaaf Cycling Team’s licence to be reinstated this year, for example, if they hire another rider in the June transfer window, but they have not replied.
The Spanish-registered team is currently under investigation after eight riders walked away from the programme amid allegations that they have not paid some riders and staff salaries and that they have shown a lack of professionalism.
Cyclingnews has contacted the Zaaf Cycling Team to clarify the team’s financial situation, along with the allegations that they have not paid some riders and staff and allegations of a lack of professionalism, but the team has not responded.
Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed was the eighth rider to announce that she has left the Zaaf Cycling Team, following Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Lucie Jounier, Mareille Meijering, Elizabeth Stannard, Heidi Franz, Michaela Drummond and Maggie Coles-Lyster.
Some of the riders who departed the team have found new contracts, with Cordon-Ragot signing with Human Powered Health just ahead of Paris-Roubaix, Jounier with Team Coop-Hitec and Meijering with Movistar, Stannard with Israel Premier Tech, and Franz signing with DNA Pro Cycling.
The UCI granted these riders exemptions to register with new teams before the transfer window opens on June 1 due to the extenuating circumstances of their departure from…
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