Katusha’s return swells Paris-Nice, Dauphine

ASO expands weeklong stage races to accommodate Katusha, will not follow suit with the Tour de France

PARIS (AFP) — Katusha’s successful appeal to be reintegrated into cycling’s WorldTour means 23 teams instead of the usual 22 will line up for the Paris-Nice and Critérium du Dauphiné races, organizers announced on Tuesday.

“We aren’t going to leave a team by the side of the road,” Christian Prudhomme, director of the two stage races as well as the Tour de France, told AFP.

Katusha is back in cycling’s top league after overturning its original exclusion from the circuit on an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

CAS handed down its verdict in favor of the controversial Russian outfit last week.

While 23 teams will compete at the March 3-10 Paris-Nice and June 2-9 Criterium du Dauphine, the cast list for the Tour de France remains at 22, Prudhomme said — the 19 teams with ProTeam licenses plus three wildcard invitees, instead of four.

Prudhomme added that the number of riders per team would remain at nine for the Tour de France, rather than the eight-member teams for the other races.