Three weeks of grueling cycling across France all boils down to the positioning of themselves with these jerseys below, This guide helps us understand more on how they are obtain in the race.
Yellow: the most famous one, the maillot jaune, it is awarded to the rider with the shortest overall time for all the stages added together, the rider who has covered the course faster than anyone else. First awarded in 1919, it is yellow because the race was organised by the newspaper L’Auto which was printed on yellow paper. Today it is sponsored by LCL, a bank. New for 2015 is the use of time bonuses of 10-6-4 seconds for the finish of each stage except the time trials.
Green: the points jersey, which tends to reward the sprinters. Points are awarded at the finish line and at one intermediate point in the stage and the rider with the most points wears the jersey. The allocation has been tweaked to reward the stage winners, for more on this see May’s Tour de France Points Competition Scale Revealed. It is sponsored by Skoda, a car company
- Flat stages / Coefficient 1: 50-30-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-7-6-5-4-3 and 2 points for the first 15 riders to finish
- Hilly finish-Medium mountain stages / Coefficient 2 and 3: 30-25-22-19-17-15-13-11-9-7-6-5-4-3-2 points for the first 15 riders to finish
- Mountain Stages / Coefficient 4 and 5: 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points for the first 15 riders to finish.
- Individual time trial stages / Coefficient 6 : 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points to the first 15 riders to finish
- Intermediate sprints: 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points respectively for the first 15 riders
- For more on the stage coefficients, scroll down
Polka dot: also known as the “King of the Mountains” jersey, points are awarded at the top of categorised climbs and mountain passes, with these graded from the easier 4th category to the hors catégorie climbs which are so hard they are off the scale. In reality these gradings are subjective. Again the rider with the most points wears the jersey and the race celebrates the 40th anniversary of the jersey this year. It is sponsored by Carrefour, a supermarket.
- Hors Catégorie passes: 25,20,16,14,12,10,8,6,4,2 points respectively for first 10 riders to finish
- Category 1 climbs: 10,8,6,4,2,1 points
- Category 2: 5,3,2,1 points respectively
- Category 3: 2, 1 points
- Category 4: 1 point
- Points are doubled for the final climb on a stage with a summit finish (Stages 10, 12, 17, 19 and 20).
White: for the best young rider, this is awarded on the same basis as the yellow jersey, except the rider must be born after 1 January 1990, ie aged 25 or under. It is sponsored by Krys, a chain of opticians.
Obviously a rider can’t wear two jerseys at once, they’d get too hot. So if a rider leads several classifications, they take the most prestigious jersey for themselves and the number two ranked rider in the other competition gets to wear the other jersey. For example if a rider has both the yellow jersey and the mountains jersey they’ll wear yellow whilst whoever is second in the mountains jersey will sport the polka dot jersey. If a rider has all the jerseys the priority for the others is green, mountains then white.
There’s also a daily “most combative” prize awarded every day to the rider who has attacked the most or tried the hardest. It is a subjective prize and awarded by a jury. The rider gets to stand on the podium after the stage and wear a red race number the next day. It is sponsored by Antargaz, a bottled gas company.
Stage Coefficients: as mentioned for the points jersey competition each stage is awarded a “coefficient” or rating which has an impact on the points available. These ratings are also used to determine the time cut for riders finishing within a percentage of the stage winner’s time.
- Each day on a normal stage there’s €8,000 for the winner, €4,000 for second place and a decreasing scale down to a modest €200 for 20th place.
- For the final overall classification in Paris, first place brings in €450,000 and the Sèvres porcelain “omnisports trophy”, awarded “in the name of the Presidency of the French Republic“.
- The full breakdown is €450,000 for first place, €200,000 for second place, €100,000 for third place and then €70,000, €50,000, €23,000, €11,500, €7,600, €4,500, €3,800, €3,000, €2,700, €2,500, €2,100, €2,000, €1,500, €1,300, €1,200, €1,000, €950, €900, €850, €750, €700 until € 650 for 25th place.
- Then 26th to 30th place collects €600
- 31st to 40th place gets €550
- 41st to 50th place gets €500
- 51st to 90th place gets €450
- every other rider to finish collects €400
There are other pots of money available in the race:
- €350 a day to whoever wears the yellow jersey, €300 for the other jersey holders
- €25,000 for the final winner of the green and polka dot jerseys
- €20,000 for the final winner of the white jersey
- There’s also money for the first three in the intermediate sprint €1,500, €1000 and €500.
- The climbs have cash too with the first three over an HC climb earning €800, €450 and €300
- The highest point in the race sees a prize when on Stage 17 the Henri Desgrange prize is awarded at the top of the Col d’Allos and is worth €5,000 and the highest point in the Pyrenees, the Col du Tourmalet on Stage 11, brings the Jacques Goddet prize and another €5,000
- The “most combative” prize is awarded and worth €2,000 each day, the “Super combative” prize is awarded in Paris and the winner collects €20,000.
- There’s also a team prize with €2,800 awarded each day to the leading team on the overall, as calculated by the best three riders overall and €50,000 for the final winners in Paris. Note the team prize is calculated by adding the time of the best three riders each day rather than the best three on GC. For example if a team has riders A, B and C make the winning break one day then their times for the stage are taken and added together. If riders X, Y and Z on the same team go up the road the next day, their times are taken. So it’s the times of a team’s best three riders each day as opposed to the best three riders overall.
- In addition, every team that starts gets paid €51,243 to cover expenses. And should a squad make it to Paris with seven or more riders they stand to collect an additional €1,600 bonus for each rider the have left.