Number 671

We've always wondered this as well.....

I'm a great Cycling fan, but based on 150 riders using 15 bottles a day (2,250 bottles) how in these days of a green environment can they get away with disgarding so many PLASTIC bottles into the country side.... Has no one said this before ?

C.F.Pelkey's answer:

The question has been raised quite often. It is one of the most common questions we get during Live Updates. Indeed, an environmental group in Belgium raised the issue and sought criminal charges against some riders after this year's Tour of Flanders.

The most common argument against being too concerned about the bottles is that fans make a big effort to pick them up along the route each day. Indeed, I recall retracing a stage route after leaving the press room at the 2004 Vuelta one year. My son - then 10 years old - was with me and wanted to grab a bottle as a souvenir. No luck. Not one.

Frankly, if one wants to be concerned about the environmental impact of our sport, one might want to start with the incredible number of vehicles involved in major races. We did a rough count once during the 2005 Tour de France and concluded that if you count all of the team cars, motorcycles, race vehicles, helicopters, airplaines, trucks and the cars used by the media you would come up with a minimum of 2500 cars that cover the route raced by less than 200 cyclists.

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