The UCI has announced that it has changed the rule around discarding bottles for the Giro d'Italia 2021, though with specific limitations.
Riders would have been warned, fined and even disqualified for throwing bottles and other litter, even in a safe manner to fans at the side of the road if it was outside of a designated litter zone.
But now cycling's governing body has agreed with the race organisers and riders union to alter the rules. Riders are now allowed to discard bottles to members of the public in the final 50km but it has to be on a climb.
In a press release, the UCI said: "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 (in the case of too violent a throw) or to other riders (in the case of the bottle being thrown and rolling back onto the road). In case of non-compliance with these conditions and precautions, the sanctions will be maintained in accordance with the UCI regulations currently in force."
Litter zones will also be extended to possibly one to two kilometres with the UCI saying it is down to the race organisers to make sure all the litter in these zones is collected. The organisers will also be left to decide what sanctions should be handed down if riders fail to comply.
These new rules are being trialled at the Giro by the UCI to see if they work better than the rules that came into force on April 1. If so then it will be put in place for the entire race calendar going forward.
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