You might have seen the story that three riders could face criminal charges following the Flèche Walloone. Personally I think criminal charges are a bit much, this smacks of a publicity operation for the politicians involved. After all, I’m writing about it now.
Note it’s usually the fans who leave a mess behind, some places can be left in a real mess by littering. Plus one of the riders in question, Chris Froome, says the Team Sky waterbottles are biodegradable. Besides, any waterbottles thrown away in Belgium will often end up on ebay within hours.
That said, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not acceptable to sling waste into the countryside. Indeed things are changing. FDJ riders have special jerseys with small pockets on the front where they can put used wrappers and other lightweight rubbish, meaning the rear pockets stay clean and don’t get sticky.
I’ve heard from Paris that ASO are working on special rubbish zones for the Tour de France. These “green zones” will be places where riders can sling their waste and it will be picked up… but anyone throwing wrappers and bottles at other points will risk a fine or other penalty.