FROM BANNING THE SUPERTUCK TO “BOTTLEGATE”
Recent UCI rulings continue to rankle the pro peloton
As history as shown, when the non-cycling media picks up on a cycling related story it’s usually relating to something of a peculiar interest that reaches beyond any pure bike-geek specific moment. Take for instance the UCI’s recent ruling that banned the “super tuck” position for riders trying to eek out an aero advantage. Not much play on CNN or Fox News on that one.
However, in today’s New York Times, the Sports page was home to a big story penned by veteran cycling reporter Juliet Macur that offered a critical eye on another new UCI ruling that outlawed the indiscriminate tossing of musettes/bidons and water bottle bottles in non-secured or designated areas. While the ruling seeks to prevent the errant trashing of a race course by riders tossing used items along the roadside, it has also put a stop to riders handing off their used water bottles or musette bags to schwag hungry spectators.
How serious is the UCI in enforcing the ban you wonder?
As Macur’s story reports…”Michael Schär of Switzerland and Letizia Borghesi of Italy each threw a bidon outside the designated litter areas at the Tour of Flanders just days after the regulations went into effect. Schär threw a bidon into a group of fans. Both were disqualified from the race.
“For this unconscious gesture, they really made me feel like a ‘criminal,’” Borghesi wrote on Instagram, adding: “Also bottles don’t pollute because they are collected by children or fans who are collecting them. I think seeing a child smile when picking up a bottle on the roadside is priceless.”
BOTTLEGATE & JOB LOSS?!
Thomas De Gendt, a Belgian rider, called the issue “bottlegate” and also said the rule needed to be changed. “I understand that we can’t throw bottles in the nature,” he wrote on Twitter. “But giving a bottle to a fan who is asking for one is something totally different.”
“I’m so sorry, guys, but I can’t, I want to keep my job here.” Cannondale EF Education rider Alex Howes recalled saying to the crowd as his pockets and jersey were stuffed with used bidons.