If you have only started following the Tour de France this year and you’ve heard the commentators talking about different coloured jerseys, you might be wondering what all the different colours represent and why it’s so important to be wearing a jersey other than your team jersey.
Each team wears their own uniform but there are a number of special shirts or jerseys awarded each day. While it’s considered very prestigious to wear any of these jerseys throughout the race, it’s obviously even more so to be wearing one of these jerseys after the final sprint down the Champs-Élysées in Paris on the last day of the tour.
Here in Australia a lot of people were thrilled to know that Cadel Evans was wearing the Yellow Jersey at the end of the race last year but many aren’t quite sure what that means. All they know is that those who follow cycling think it’s the best thing since sliced bread so it must be good.
Many other people know that the Yellow Jersey or Maillot Jaune is the most coveted of all the jerseys but here’s a quick rundown of what it’s all about.
The Yellow Jersey is worn by the leader in the general classification. That means that whoever has the lowest overall time at the end of each stage of the event will be awarded with the Yellow Jersey. It was first awarded in 1919 and its colour was chosen to match the yellow paper of l’Auto magazine, founder of the Tour de France in 1903.
The Green Jersey is given to the leader in the points classification, rewarding the best sprinter. It’s sometimes called the points jersey or sprinters’ jersey. During each stage, points are allocated for several intermediary sprints and for the finish. The jersey was introduced in 1953.
Polka Dot Jersey
The Polka Dot or King of the Mountains Jersey is awarded to the rider who earns most of the points at each summit. The winner is known as the King of the Mountains. Although the award was introduced in 1933, the red and white spotted jersey was not introduced until 1975.
The White Jersey is given to the best rider in the general classification under 25. The jersey was abandoned in 1989 but reintroduced in 1999.
So now you know a little more than you did a short while ago. I hope this brief explanation helps in your enjoyment of this year’s tour.If you enjoyed this post please use the buttons above to share.