The RadioShack Leopard star – who smashed his collarbone when he hit a rolling bottle in the 2012 Tour of Flanders – said current screw-top rather than pop-top designs made the bottles like “stones” that had led to a number of crashes this season.
“In my opinion the bottles now are too dangerous,” he told BikeRadar. “When they crash out of the bottle cage they’re like stones. They don’t open any more when you roll over them. It’s happened to me, and this year I saw it happen to some other people too. This is something that should be changed.”
He said he would be calling on the UCI to consider introducing rules to make bidons – which could wreck a rider’s season – safer.
The two main bottle suppliers, Tacx and Elite, can provide professional teams with bottles with tops that pop off if a rider rolls over them. However, photos from this year’s Scheldeprijs show some teams, such as Lotto-Belisol, are using screw-top designs such as the Tacx Shiva. The company also market the bottle as used by pros.
The UCI are currently gathering information on the issue. Matthieu Mottet, technical coordinator at the international federation, said race officials had brought the issue to his attention.
He said: “I’ve received one or two notices from commissaires and I’m finding out more information. Maybe this will change some rules but for the moment I’m collecting information.”