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Toss a bottle or do the super tuck and the UCI will dock you 30 seconds

During stage races the UCI will dock a rider 30 seconds for a first offense and two minutes for a second. A third offense brings expulsion.

The UCI announced Thursday the sanctions to be levied on riders who sit on their bike’s top tube, and also for disposing of bottles outside of designated zones.

Riders who assume a super-tuck position, or who intentionally discard a bottle outside of a designated area, will be immediately excluded from one-day races. In stage races, the penalties for being caught in a super tuck position or tossing a bottle are the addition of 30 seconds to a rider’s finishing time on the first offense, two minutes for a second offense, and expulsion for a third offense.

“These new measures are part of a comprehensive plan for the safety of riders, men and women,” the UCI said in a statement Thursday. These penalties have been “unanimously accepted by the representatives of all the families of the cycling, teams, runners and organizers. If the organizers will take into account new guidelines for the organization of their events, riders and teams will also have to change certain habits and practices.”

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These sanctions are set to begin enforcement as of April 1st.

The UCI will also begin enforcing a ban on the time trial position on road bikes.

The penalties add more context to the UCI’s highly controversial decision to ban both the super tuck and the time trial position in road races. Multiple riders questioned the new rules after the UCI publicized them earlier this month.

Gianni Bugno, president of the CPA, said the riders association backed the decision. Representatives from teams — Patrick Lefevere of Deceuninck-Quick-Step and Richard Plugge of Jumbo-Visma — as well as Christian Prudhomme of Tour de France parent company ASO also pledged compliance.

“We fully support the decisions that were taken during the last UCI management committee on February 4th after a process of consultation in which our representatives participated alongside others cycling families,” Bugno said.

Marc Hirschi
UCI will begin to impose sanctions as of April 1, on riders who are caught taking a banned position on the bike. Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

The UCI rules update includes language which indicates, “riders must have a perfect command of their bicycle in all circumstances, and at the same time show example to less experienced cyclists… They must respect the position requiring as only points of support: feet on the pedals, the hands on the handlebars, and the seat on the saddle.”

The UCI is also examining setting standards and requirements for the materials, construction, and configuration of route barriers in finish zones.

And, an initiative to both improve rider safety and also to address environmental concerns, “trash zones” will be established every 30 to 40km along race routes. Being caught discarding items outside of these zones will draw the same sanctions as taking a banned position on the bike.

UCI president David Lappartient said that trash zones are as much for environmental concerns, as to protect ride safety.

“We can not continue to have as an image of the bike when the bike passes the environment dies. Strong measures had to be taken, which were approved unanimously,” Lappartient said.

Riders disposing of bottles outside of designated zones face the same penalties as riders caught in banned positions on the bike. Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images.

Lappartient said that rider reactions were mixed to positive, but overall accepting.

“Those [rider reactions] we hear, mostly, are those who do not agree. But there are quite a few racers who find these decisions logical,” he added.