Littering during races to be punished with time penalty or disqualification, UCI announces

Riders who use the supertuck or a TT position on road handlebars will also be docked time or DQed in all UCI races

(Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The peloton will have to dispose of bidons and rubbish in specified litter zones or risk being disqualified in new rules published by the UCI.

Cycling's governing body is introducing new racing regulations as the 2021 season stutters to a start, with sitting on the top tube or using a TT position on road handlebars also set to banned from April 1.

Litter zones will be assembled every 30-40km in all UCI races and outside of these areas riders will only be permitted to dispose of rubbish by passing it to a team or neutral service car.

The UCI has come under increased pressure to not only improve rider safety, with Geraint Thomas crashing out of the Giro d'Italia after slipping on a discarded bidon, but also to clean up cycling's environmental reputation, with big races such as the Tour de France facing scrutiny over the pollution it creates.

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"Throwing objects or waste in a careless or dangerous manner or onto the road or at spectators" will result in a 200 to 1000 CHF fine as well as disqualification from one-day races, while perpetrators during stage races will be docked time before being eliminated, the new rules state.

For a first infringement during a stage race riders will receive a 30-second penalty, a two-minute deduction the second time, while a third will result in disqualification.

"Riders must observe the standard position [on a bike]...sitting on the top tube is prohibited. Furthermore, using the forearms as a point of support on the handlebar is prohibited except in time trials," read the wording of the banning of the supertuck, a ruling that has caused a stir in the peloton.

"Next they’ll be banning stem watching and elbows sticking out..." Chris Froome tweeted of the supertuck ban, followed by a clown emoji, leaving no room for confusion over his position on the matter.

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.