The gala round jerseys have already become famous globally and involve different prizes for different facets. There are four of them and they indicate the best cyclist in the peloton in a certain segment or based on a certain characteristic.

Since the race imposed them, they have been making a hole in the mind of the viewer, who has already learned to identify them easily. The leader’s jersey, yellow, is the best known, but there are three other notable ones. In total, in the 2023 Tour de France you will see these four:

yellow jersey

It is the sumun and there are very few and very privileged cyclists who have carried it. Not to mention those who have kept it until they crossed Paris to become round winners.

The yellow jersey was implanted by Henri Desgrange, creator of the test, in the year during the 1919 Tour to distinguish the leader of the race. Yellow was chosen as a reference to the color of the pages of the l’Auto newspaper that organized the race and its first wearer was the Frenchman Eugène Christophe, the same one who the previous year had said goodbye to all his chances of victory by breaking the hairpin of his bike going down the Tourmalet and having to repair it in the nearest village forge with his own hands.

Neither in that 1919 he would be able to arrive first in Paris where he occupied the third step of the podium. Of course, nobody even comes close to the 97 days that the legendary Eddy Merckx wore the precious garment, followed at a distance by the 76 days that Bernard Hinault wore it or the 60 days of Miguel Indurain.

green jersey

Although during the first two editions of the Tour de France the winner was decided, as today, taking into account the time accumulated by the riders throughout the different stages, the scandal of the 1904 Tour, in which many cyclists were disqualified when it was learned that they had completed part of the route in cars and trains forced the organizers to establish the following year a classification system based on points based on the position occupied by the competitors at the end of each stage.

This system was in force until 1912 when the time system was recovered again. However, in 1953, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the race, the Tour de France decided to recover the idea of points by creating a parallel classification in which the runners added up based on their position at the finish line and, later, also accounting for an intermediate sprint in the middle of the stage.

The green color was chosen to distinguish the leader of this classification as it was the color used by the lawn mower brand that sponsored it.

Currently, Peter Sagan is the runner who has conquered this gimp the most times, no less than 7 times, the last in 2019. He is followed, just one, by a legend like Erik Zabel.

Red dots jersey

Identifies the leader of the mountains classification, who gets points by crossing in leading positions the different passes that mark the route of the Tour de France.

In the grande boucle, the ports are categorized into 5 levels based on their length and difficulty of their ramps, from those of 4th category, on many occasions little more than simple slopes that are interspersed in the flat stages to award points for this classification , just a single point to the rider to pass in first place, until the so-called Hors Categorie or out of category, which award points to the first 8 cyclists to crown, the first being awarded no less than 20 points.

Between 1905 and 1932 the Tour de France chose the best climber of each edition at the end of each edition. However, it was not until 1933 that an official classification as we know it today was established, although it did not have a distinctive jersey until 1975.

By the way, the first to win this classification is none other than the Cantabrian Vicente Trueba, the flea from Torrelavega who had already obtained the then unofficial recognition of the organization in the previous edition.

Also a Spaniard, no less than Federico Martín Bahamontes figured in the history of this jersey after years, being he who had managed to win this classification the most times, no less than 6 times. It was until Richard Virenque surpassed that mark by conquering him on one more occasion.

Today it is a classification that, contrary to what happens with the green jersey, which continues to enjoy full prestige, has been somewhat distorted by the double value of points that are awarded in the high finals and that gives a clear advantage to those who fight for the general.

white jersey

Complementary to the general classification, there is the ranking of the best young people, which includes cyclists born after January 1, 1997, that is, aged 25 or less.

As in the general classification, it is the accumulated times that mark the order of the same. However, the precocity of the current stars of this sport has distorted, as it happens with the mountain classification, this jersey that has been conquered in recent editions by Tadej Pogacar.

This jersey has not always recognized the best young cyclist. Until 1975 it was used to distinguish the leader of the combined classification that grouped the positions in the general, points and mountains. In that year it changed its character to the current one although using different references. In a few years the age and between 1983 and 1986 it was only reserved for debutants in the Tour de France.

As a curiosity, mention that Laurent Fignon, Jan Ulrich, Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck, Egan Bernal and Tadej Pogacar are the only riders who have managed to add the yellow jersey to the achievement of this classification.

The other classifications

In addition to the distinctive jerseys, the Tour de France has two more classifications.

The first of these is the team classification that distinguishes the best squad in the race. For this, a classification is established in which the times of the 3 best runners of the different teams are added at the end of each stage. The leading squad of this ranking must wear specific numbers with a yellow background as well as a yellow helmet.

Although it is not a classification as such, at the end of each stage the Tour de France awards a prize to the most combative rider of the day, who the next day will wear a bib with a red background as a reference. In addition, at the end of the Tour de France, a jury chooses the most combative rider throughout the three weeks.