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UCI continues evaluation of bottle-toss rule

The UCI plans for a working group to review the regulation before the start of the Tour de France.

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In a statement Thursday, the UCI said it will continue to monitor road safety conditions for riders and in doing so, it extended the modification of the rule prohibiting riders from tossing bottles to fans.

During the Giro, the UCI updated the rule regarding bottle-tosses, and riders were permitted to discard bottles to fans in the final 50km, on a climb.

The updated rule made during the first week of the 2021 Giro d’Italia states “Riders will not be sanctioned for throwing a bottle to the public when the bottle is thrown on climbs in the last 50km of the stage. However, riders must ensure that the throwing of their bottle towards the public does not present any danger, either to spectators or to other riders. In case of non-compliance with these conditions and precautions, the sanctions will be maintained in accordance with the UCI regulations currently in force.”

In the announcement today, the UCI indicated that the Management Committee approved the decision of the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) to prolong the application of the modified regulation [regarding the methods of and locations for discarding bottles] until the end of June for all UCI WorldTour events and extended it to cover all events on the UCI Road International Calendar.

The UCI said that a working group continues to “examine the opportunity to review the regulation before the start of the Tour de France.”

Starting April 1, the UCI enforced bans on the supertuck position, the “puppy paws” position (forearms on road handlebar-tops), and tossing bottles outside of designated litter zones in races.

Riders were docked points, fined, and even excluded from races if they dropped a bottle into the waiting hands of a fan.

Michael Schär was ejected from the Tour of Flanders for an illegal bottle toss.

While some riders expressed indifference about the rules regulating how one can sit on a bike, the rule banning riders from discarding bottles — tossing them into the waiting hands of roadside fans — was met with resistance and concerns that this rule would cause additional safety issues in trash zones.

If the temporary bottle-toss rule modification goes unaddressed by the UCI, it may expire before the start of the Tour de France, meaning that riders could again be penalized twice before being ejected from the three-week stage race.