UCI announces changes to bottle-throwing rule for Giro d'Italia 2021

Under the old rule, riders would be sanctioned and potentially disqualified for throwing bottles to fans

Victor Campenaerts takes a drink at the Giro d'Italia 2021
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

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.

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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.

Tim Bonville-Ginn
Tim Bonville-Ginn

Tim Bonville-Ginn is one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter.


Bonville-Ginn started working in cycling journalism while still at school and university for a voluntary site based on Twitter before also doing slots for Eurosport's online web team and has been on location at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour of Britain, UCI World Championships and various track events. He then joined the Cycling Weekly team in late February of 2020.


When not writing stories for the site, Bonville-Ginn doesn't really switch off his cycling side as he watches every race that is televised as well as being a rider himself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager.


He rides a Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on his local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being his preferred terrain.