“I understand that we cannot throw bottles into nature,” He wrote on Twitter. “But giving a bottle to a fan who is asking for one is something completely different.”
The cycling association said the rules were created to promote rider safety and respect the environment, and riders, teams and race organizers jointly adopted them in February. Cyclists had two months to prepare themselves, so the change should come as no surprise, said Cycling Union spokesman Luis Chanale.
He said in an email last week, “We strongly believe that these measures, which in some cases require a change in approach, will contribute to creating the game of the 21st century.”
On Wednesday, the Professional Cycling Council – a consortium of riders, teams, organizers and the International Cycling Association – met online to discuss the controversies. They agreed to do away with the immediate disqualification of riders who broke garbage rules in a day race, reducing offense and loss of points for the first time. In a stage-race, disqualification will now take place after a third offense. The rule change will go into effect on April 17 upon approval by the Cycling Union.
An effective ban on bitcoin tossing remained in force. “Throwing bottles to the public, in particular, is a danger to both riders and the public,” the Cycling Union said in a news release. The organization said the rule helped rid young fans of riding to bid and possibly getting rid of a rider or vehicle.
Along with safety, the sheer volume of garbage is a concern. For generations, many riders were, let’s say, less than respectful of the environment. They chewed sandwich wrappers on snow-capped alpine rocks. They landed cotton bags in the already existing ancient rivers, which held riders’ snacks. They bid on fields, grazing cows and trampling sunflowers. And some of that cavalier litter was caught on live TV.