The Tour de France is an annual men’s multiple-stage bicycle race primarily held in France, while also occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other Grand Tours, it consists of 21 stages, each a day long, over the course of 23 days.
Le Tour de France sees the best of the best bicyclists in the world compete for the yellow, green, white and polka-dot jerseys. The jerseys are representation for the general, points, mountain, and youth categories in the competition. The jersey for each category is awarded to the winner of each classication at the end of every stage. Those who have earned their jersey earn the right to wear it in the next day’s race.
The yellow jersey, also known as “le maillot jaune” in French, is the most sought after article of clothing in the sport of professional cycling. The yellow jersey is awarded to the cyclist that finishes the race in the least amount of time. This means to have beaten the overall score, or what is commonly known as the general classification of the race.
The green Jersey, also known as “le maillot vert” in French, is awarded to the leader of the points classification. This refers to the cyclist who earns the most points, during any given stage, which is determined by the finishing position of the cyclist. At the end of each stage, points are added to the total amount of points earned.
The amount of points available will vary from stage to stage. More points are on offer during pure flat, or what is known as sprint days, compared to other stages. There are fewer points available to earn on mountainous or stages with hills.The first 15 cyclists to complete each stage are awarded points. The most points are awarded whomever comes in first place, which is represented by the green jersey.
The amount of points available will vary from stage to stage. More points are on offer during pure flat, or what is known as sprint days, compared to other stages. There are fewer points available to earn on mountainous or stages with hills. The first fifteen cyclists to complete each stage are awarded points. The most points are awarded whomever comes in first place, which is represented by the green jersey.
As of 1953, the color green was selected to represent this classification because the initial sponsor was a lawn mower manufacturer. The color has not changed, except for when it was briefly changed in 1986 to accommodate another sponsor. Afterwards, it reverted back to green and has remained in tact since then.
The polka dot jersey is known as the “maillot à pois rouges” in French. It was originally referred to as the climbers award. It was initially acknowledged in 1933, while the jersey was first distributed in 1975. The distinctive white jersey with red dots is awarded to the rider with the most accumulated mountain points.
Mountain points are awarded to cyclists who summit classified climbs first. Points vary depending on the ascent category. For example, climbs considered to be difficult have more points on offer. At the end of each stage the points are awarded and then added the total amount of points.
Mountain ascents are divided into five categories. The first four categories are represented by the numbers one through four. Each category varies in ascent difficulty, starting at one being the most difficult and ending with four being the least difficult. The fifth category is known the “hors categorie” and is also referenced by its abbreviations or initials, HC, representing the most challenging of ascents.
The Tougher the climb, the further down points are awarded. For example, in the HC category points are awarded down to the first eight over the summit. Whereas, in the fourth category, points are awarded down to only the first rider over the summit. The organizers decide which mountains will be included in the competition and which category they fall into. When the stage features a summit finish, the points for the climb are doubled.
The polka dot jersey is known as “le maillot à pois rouges” in French. It was originally referred to as the climbers award. It was initially acknowledged in 1933, while the jersey was first distributed in 1975. The distinctive white jersey with red dots is awarded to the rider with the most accumulated mountain points.
The white jersey is know as “le malliot blanc” in French. It was first introduced in the year of 1975. This jersey represents the young rider classification. This plain white jersey is awarded to the fastest rider under the age of 26. Receiving this jersey can help advance the winner’s career and often leads to larger success. Riders such as Marco Pantani, Alberto Contador, Egan Bernal and Tadej Pogačar have all won the young rider classification.
There are two additional classifications in which the winners are not awarded a colored jersey, the team classification and the combativity award, which are known as non jersey classifications. The team classification is awarded to the three highest-placed riders from each squad based on their collective time during the race. Leaders of the team classification are represented by race numbers that are yellow with black digits. Only winners of the classification wear yellow helmets to show they have earned it.