The UCI has stripped the Zaaf team of its continental license after it was left with fewer than the required eight riders ©Getty Images

The Zaaf Cycling Team has had its continental license revoked by the International Cycling Union (UCI), following allegations of unpaid wages and its roster dropping below the minimum size of eight riders.

Spain-based Zaaf was founded last year and became a UCI women's continental team earlier this year, signing several riders from the former French-based B&B Hotels-KTM team after it collapsed in December 2022.

However, last month it was accused by several riders of failing to pay salaries or expenses for the first three months of the season.

Escape Collective reported that there were also allegations the team was short staffed and lacked equipment including bikes.

France's Audrey Cordon-Ragot and Lucie Jounier, Australia's Lizzie Stannard, The Netherlands' Mareille Meijering, Canada's Maggie Coles-Lyster, the United States' Heidi Franz, New Zealand's Michaela Drummond and Egypt's Ebtissam Mohamed have all departed from the Zaaf team, leaving it with just seven riders.

The UCI has confirmed that Zaaf has been stripped of its continental women's team license.

Zaaf is no longer listed as a UCI women's continental team ©UCI
Zaaf is no longer listed as a UCI women's continental team ©UCI

"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 eight riders," a UCI spokesperson said.

"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."

An investigation was launched by the UCI and the Spanish Cycling Federation last month following the emergence of allegations of unpaid salaries.

Several of the riders who have departed Zaaf have joined other teams, with Cordon-Ragot signing for Human Powered Health, Jounier for Team Coop-Hitec Products, Meijering for Movistar, Stannard for Israel-Premier Tech, Franz for DNA Pro Cycling and Drummond for Team Farto-BTC.

The Zaaf team is named after Algerian cyclist Abdel-Kader Zaaf, who won several Tour de France stages in the 1940s and 1950s.

insidethegames has contacted the Zaaf team for a comment.