How Many Riders at the 2023 Tour de France?

Founder, Mr. Mamil
EF Education-EasyPost Tour de France 2023

In 2023, there will be 22 teams in the Tour de France, consisting of 18 UCI World Tour and four invited teams. Each team has eight riders, with a total of 176 riders.

Key takeaways

  • Individual participants took part from 1904 to 1929.
  • National teams and mostly French individuals (called touriste-routiers) took part from 1930 to 1937. The national teams were made up of Belgium, Italy, Spain, Germany, and France.
  • Commercially sponsored teams replaced national teams in 1962. The 1968 edition was an exception where the commercial sponsors pulled out and thus was competed by national teams.
  • Maximum number of riders per team ranged between 10 and 11 up to 1986. From 1987, it was reduced to 9 and to 8 in 2018. As the average speed increases, the large number of riders increases the dangers and risks.
  • Most number of teams was in 2021 with 23 teams. In the last 30 years, the number ranged from 20 to 23.
  • ASO started an invitation system in 1989. UCI World Tour (formerly UCI ProTour) teams automatically qualify for the Tour de France and the balance (3 to 6 teams) are made up of teams invited by the ASO (owner of Tour de France). The invited teams are usually French Pro Continental teams.
  • 13 riders, including favorites such as Ivan Basso and Jan Ulrich, were expelled on the eve of the 2006 edition due to the Spanish doping scandal.
  • In 2008, Astana who was the team of 2007 winner, Alberto Contador was not invited due to its ongoing doping scandals.

Key statistics

  • Most number of starters was in 1986 with 210 riders.
  • Least number of starters was in 1905 and 1934 with only 60 riders.
  • Highest completion rate was 88.1% in 2019, followed by 87.9% (2016) and 86.7% (2009).
  • Highest abandonment rate was 85.5% in 1919, followed by 82.9% (1906) and 82.1% (1913).
  • Advancement in training, recovery, and nutrition has seen 14 out of the last 20 editions (except 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2012, and 2021) have a completion rate of above 80%.

The table below shows the number of starters and finishers for each Tour de France edition.

Detailed rider statistics and breakdown

Alex Lee at Mr.Mamil

Alex Lee is the founder and editor-at-large of Mr. Mamil. Coming from a professional engineering background, he breaks down technical cycling nuances into an easy-to-understand and digestible format here.

He has been riding road bikes actively for the past 12 years and started racing competitively in the senior category during the summer recently.