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.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm 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. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.