UCI revokes Zaaf Continental license after eight riders quit team in one month

No official comment from UCI or team on removal. Zaaf was under constant monitoring amidst financial concerns with several riders leaving the squad.

Photo: Tim de Waele / Getty Images

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The trouble surrounding Zaaf continues to mount as the UCI revoked its Continental license after it dropped below the minimum roster size of eight riders.

Zaaf has been embroiled in a scandal for over a month after riders accused the team of not paying salaries or expenses for the first three months of the season. Several riders have approached the Spanish Federation, where the team is registered, in an attempt to access the bank guarantee submitted at the start of the season in an effort to get some of the missing payments.

The squad has been left with just seven riders after eight of its riders quit the squad over the last month.

“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,” a statement from the UCI sent to VeloNews said.

VeloNews has repeatedly contacted the Zaaf team for comment but has received no response as yet.

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Since the first accusations of failed payments emerged in March, more than half the team’s riders have left. Audrey Cordon-Ragot was the first to go and signed for Human Powered Health at the start of April.

She was allowed to make the switch after the UCI made an exception to its rules that usually prevent riders from swapping between two squads before June 1.

Cordon-Ragot was followed by Lizzie Stannard, Mareille Meijering, Maggie Coles-Lyster, Heidi Franz, and Michaela Drummond.

Ebtissam Zaied quit the team Wednesday, leaving the squad with just seven riders, lower than the minimum level required by the UCI. Meanwhile, Franz and Drummond secured new teams this week, going to DNA Pro Cycling and Farto-BTC Women’s Team respectively.

The UCI told VeloNews earlier this week that it was keeping the team under “daily monitoring” and that any rule breaches could lead to the team losing its license.

Earlier this week, the team had declined its wildcard invitation to the Vuelta Femenina after the organizer had previously said it would not rescind it. The team is still down to ride the reVolta one-day race Saturday and recently earned an invitation to the Itzulia Basque Country women’s race, which it could still race as a club side, despite losing its Continental license.

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