Tour Xtra

The Yellow Jersey

History

The color of the Leader Jersey in the Tour de France is easily explained. As the organising newspaper (L’Auto) was printed on yellow paper, it was not hard to find a color which marked the leader.

 

But it was not until 1919 that the first Yellow Jersey was given to the Race Leader. Journalists had asked Tour director Henri Desgrange to make it easier for them to find the leader in the peloton. In the morning of July 19, 1919, before the stage Grenoble – Geneva, Frenchman Eugène Christophe was the first to receive a Yellow Jersey in the history of the Tour de France.

 

N.B. Philippe Thys (Bel) once stated that he was the first rider to wear a leader’s jersey back in 1913. He said Desgrange asked him to wear a gold colored jersey as a test, but no official confirmation of this fact has ever been found.

1 Eddy Merckx (Bel)

2 Lance Armstrong (USA)

3 Bernard Hinault (Fra)

4 Miguel Induráin (Esp)

5 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

6 Antonin Magne (Fra)

7 Nicolas Frantz (Lux)

8 André Leducq (Fra)

9 Louison Bobet (Fra)

10 Ottavio Bottecchia (Ita)

96

83

79

60

51

39

37

35

34

33

1969-1970-1971-1972-1974-1975

1999-2000-2001-2002-2003-2004-2005

1978-1979-1980-1981-1982-1984-1985-1986

1991-1992-1993-1994-1995

1957-1961-1962-1963-1964

1931-1934

1927-1928-1929

1930-1932-1938

1948-1953-1954-1955

1923-1924-1925

Most Yellow Jerseys per rider

(includes period 1903-1919, when no actual jerseys were awarded yet)

Most Tour de France wins per rider

1 Lance Armstrong (USA)

2 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)

— Eddy Merckx (Bel)

— Bernard Hinault (Fra)

— Miguel Induráin (Esp)

6 Philippe Thijs (Bel)

— Louison Bobet (Fra)

— Greg LeMond (USA)

9 Lucien ‘Petit Breton’ Mazan (Fra)

— Firmin Lambot (Bel)

— Ottavio Bottecchia (Ita)

— Nicolas Frantz (Lux)

— André Leducq (Fra)

— Antonin Magne (Fra)

— Sylvère Maes (Bel)

— Gino Bartali (Ita)

— Fausto Coppi (Ita)

— Bernard Thévenet (Fra)

— Laurent Fignon (Fra)

Alberto Contador (Esp)

7

5

5

5

5

3

3

3

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1999-2000-2001-2002-2003-2004-2005

1957-1961-1962-1963-1964

1969-1970-1971-1972-1974

1978-1979-1981-1982-1985

1991-1992-1993-1994-1995

1913-1914-1920

1953-1954-1955

1986-1989-1990

1907-1908

1919-1922

1924-1925

1927-1928

1930-1932

1931-1934

1936-1939

1938-1948

1949-1952

1975-1977

1983-1984

2007-2009

Winners 1903-2011

For a full list of all winners of the Yellow Jersey (i.e. Tour winners), click here.

 

Calculation 2012

The General Classification is calculated by accumulating the daily times for each rider from start to finish.

 

In 2012, no time bonuses can be won in intermediate sprints, nor at the finish line.

The jury is also allowed to add penalty times after proofs of cheating, for example when a rider is caught being pushed by others or taking food in zones where such an act is prohibited. The usual penalties are 10, 20 or 30 seconds or even more, depending on the degree of the “crime”.

 

In the case of a fall or a mechanical failure in the last 3 kilometers, a rider will be awarded the same time as the group in which he was riding at the moment of the fall or failure.

 

A rider has to fulfil the Tour completely in order to be ranked in the final General Classification.