The UCI has confirmed today that Zaaf Cycling has lost its Continental team licence for failing to have a minimum of 8 riders on its team. The ongoing issues of non-payment of riders for the last few weeks have been heading to this point. The team was reduced to 8 riders by the departures of riders like Audrey Cordon-Ragot (to Human Powered Health), Heidi Franz, Michaela Drummond, Mareille Meijering (to Movistar) and Lizzie Stannard (to Israel-Premier Tech). The last rider to leave the team was Egyptian Ebtissam Zayed Ahmed, which took them below the 8 riders limit.
“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. 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.”UCI statement
The team had been removed from the starting teams of Monday’s La Vuelta Femenina already and this step should see them removed from the start of Itzulia Women. One of the rules for WWT-level races is that all teams need to be at least registered at the Continental level. In the meantime, the team is also registered for ReVolta tomorrow. This Spanish 1.1 race does allow non-Continental teams to race, with Portuguese team Maiatos due to start. That means we could see Zaaf race tomorrow, despite everything going on.
New signings for former Zaaf Cycling riders
Two new signings for Zaaf Cycling riders were announced as well today. Heidi Franz has joined DNA Pro Cycling and Michaela Drummond joins Farto-BTC. The former will be racing Festival Elsy Jacobs this weekend for a USA National Team but being signed with DNA will open up more racing in North America as well as a path to the Tour de l’Ardeche later on this season which the team is already confirmed for. Kiwi rider Dummond stays in Spain and has a shot at racing La Vuelta Femenina for her new team. She hasn’t raced in Europe so far this year after representing Zaaf during the Antipodean part of the season in January and February.
Both deals will be until the end of the season but give the riders another chance to put themselves in the spotlight and be in a better position to find