Ask RIDE…Can professionals ride for multiple teams?
I have been catching up on the cycling coverage over the last couple of weeks and noticed a number of Sky Team riders at the Tour of Sardegna but they were not in Sky colours. They were riding for the British National team. I thought that professionals could only ride for their contracted team but it appears otherwise. Could you please clarify this for me?
Well Craig it appears that you have been paying close attention to the racing. Few viewers would have noticed this abnormality but it is an important question to be answered. Strictly speaking a rider who holds a contract with a Continental, Pro Continental or ProTeam cannot compete for any team other than the one which they are listed with. This means if a rider has a contract with a team they cannot ride for another professional team or composite squad in any race – of any level. This includes local, national or UCi events.
However, there are some exemptions and events where this rule is perhaps forgotten or purposely overlooked. Remember how many professionals rode during the Australian Bay Crits in January? Most of them wore their trade team bib shorts but with the jersey of another colour. None of these riders were fined or reprimanded for this action because there wouldn’t have been enough riders from each trade team to enter the event – composite teams were what made it so interesting.
The Tour of Sardegna is a little different and as we were also intrigued by this exemption we asked the UCI for an explanation. This was their response:
“Riders belonging to UCI teams (including ProTour teams) are allowed to participate with their national team, with the consent from their team, as expressed by article 1.1.042 and 1.1.044 of the UCI rules.
In fact, ProTour riders are allowed to participate in National teams not only in the world championships but in other events on the UCI calendar. This rule can only applies if their trade team is not competing in that particular race. If this was this case, the rider would not be allowed to compete with any other team than the one they are contracted to.”
With my best regards,
Marc Chovelon is the Coordinator for Sport – Route and Road at the Union Cycliste Internationale.
Watch the final kilometres of stage three below. See Geraint Thomas @ 4:01 in the national championship jersey and Great Britain national team bibs?
Thanks for the question.
Alex Malone is the Technical Editor at RIDE Cycling Review. Follow him on Twitter @alexjmalone.
Got a question? Email us today ASK RIDE…