What is a stagiaire in cycling?

What is a stagiaire in cycling?
Riley Sheehan incredulous after his win at Paris - Tours 2023 as a stagiaire for Israel - Premier Tech

After the recent win of Riley Sheehan at the last large race of the French cycling season, Paris - Tours, the word "stagiaire" has been on a lot of lips of the cycling media and may have got you wondering what one is.

Stagiaire's are call ups from cycling development teams. Development cycling teams are not on the World Tour level but are teams from which a lot of riders may transition or graduate to the parent team as they improve.

In the case of Riley Sheehan, his development team, the team he normally rides with is the Denver Disruptors, while the parent team he was called up for is Israel Premier - Tech.

This is similar to how in Major League Baseball or the National Hockey League a team who has a few injuries on the roster in a specific position may call up from a "feeder" team.

Stagiaire's get called up in the later half of the season to fill out the roster slots at certain races as the main World Tour team's riders begin to retire for the season. This allows the stagiaire experience at riding at the World Tour level, and also let's the World Tour parent team assess the rider's capabilities. Contracts are often awarded to those riders who show talent. In the case of Sheehan we dare say he just might be.

Specifically a stagiaire cannot ride World Tour races, only Pro level races and World Tour teams make take three stagiaires from 1 August onwards. Paris - Tours, at which Sheehan won, was a Pro level race.

Stagiaires do not award UCI points to the parent team for their placement within races. So for example, Riley Sheehan's win, which generally would garner Israel Premier - Tech two hundred UCI points in actuality does not gain them any in terms of the UCI ranking system.

Why? Because then essentially all teams could have far greater than the thirty man UCI World Tour roster allowed vying for points on the team. This would aid teams with stronger development squads, and development squads aren't cheap.