|Sport||Road bicycle racing|
|Competition||Tour de France|
|Awarded for||Overall best time|
|Local name||Maillot jaune (French)|
|Editions||108 (as of 2021)|
|First winner||Maurice Garin (FRA)|
|Most wins|| Jacques Anquetil (FRA)|
Eddy Merckx (BEL)
Bernard Hinault (FRA)
Miguel Indurain (ESP)
|Most recent||Tadej Pogačar (SLO)|
The general classification is the most important classification, the one by which the winner of the Tour de France is determined. Since 1919, the leader of the general classification wears the yellow jersey (French : maillot jaunepronounced [majo ʒon] ).
The winner of the first Tour de France wore a green armband, not a yellow jersey.After the second Tour de France, the rules were changed, and the general classification was no longer calculated by time, but by points. This points system was kept until 1912, after which it changed back into the time classification. At that time, the leader still did not wear a yellow jersey.
There is doubt over when the yellow jersey began. The Belgian rider Philippe Thys, who won the Tour in 1913, 1914 and 1920, recalled in the Belgian magazine Champions et Vedettes when he was 67 that he was awarded a yellow jersey in 1913 when the organiser, Henri Desgrange, asked him to wear a coloured jersey. Thys declined, saying making himself more visible in yellow would encourage other riders to ride against him.He said
He then made his argument from another direction. Several stages later, it was my team manager at Peugeot, (Alphonse) Baugé, who urged me to give in. The yellow jersey would be an advertisement for the company and, that being the argument, I was obliged to concede. So a yellow jersey was bought in the first shop we came to. It was just the right size, although we had to cut a slightly larger hole for my head to go through.
He spoke of the next year's race, when "I won the first stage and was beaten by a tyre by Bossus in the second. On the following stage, the maillot jaune passed to Georget after a crash."
The Tour historian Jacques Augendre called Thys "a valorous rider... well-known for his intelligence" and said his claim "seems free from all suspicion". But: "No newspaper mentions a yellow jersey before the war. Being at a loss for witnesses, we can't solve this enigma."
According to the official history, the first yellow jersey was worn by the Frenchman Eugène Christophe in the stage from Grenoble to Geneva on July 19, 1919.The colour was chosen either to reflect the yellow newsprint of the organising newspaper, L'Auto , or because yellow was an unpopular colour and therefore the only one available with which a manufacturer could create jerseys at late notice.
The two possibilities have been promoted equally but the idea of matching the colour of Desgrange's newspaper seems more probable because Desgrange wrote: "This morning I gave the valiant Christophe a superb yellow jersey. You already know that our director decided that the man leading the race [de tête du classement général] should wear a jersey in the colours of L'Auto. The battle to wear this jersey is going to be passionate."
Christophe disliked wearing it, anyway, and complained that spectators imitated canaries whenever he passed. It was a habit encouraged by his nickname of Cri-Cri (from "Christophe") which is French babytalk for a bird.Christophe remembered riders and spectators teasing: "Ah, the yellow jersey! Isn't he beautiful, the canary? What are you doing, Madame Cri-Cri", adding, "And that lasted the whole course."
There was no formal presentation when Christophe wore his first yellow jersey in Grenoble, from where the race left at 2 am for the 325 km to Geneva. He was given it the night before and tried it on later in his hotel.
In the next Tour de France in 1920, the yellow jersey was initially not awarded, but after the ninth stage, it was introduced again.
After Desgrange's death, his stylized initials were added to the yellow jersey,originally on the chest. They moved in 1969 to the sleeve to make way for a logo advertising Virlux. A further advertisement for the clothing company Le Coq Sportif appeared at the bottom of the zip fastener at the neck, the first supplementary advertisement on the yellow jersey.
Desgrange's initials returned to the front of the jersey in 1972, some years on the left, others on the right. They were removed in 1984 to make way for a commercial logo but Nike added them again in 2003 as part of the Tour's centenary celebrations. One set of initials is now worn on the upper right chest of the jersey.
In 2013, a nighttime finish on the Champs-Élysées for the final stage was done to commemorate the race's 100th edition. Race leader Chris Froome wore a special yellow jersey covered in small translucent sequins into Paris as well as on the podium to allow him to be more visible under the lights.
The original yellow jerseys were of conventional style. Riders had to pull them over their head on the rostrum. For many years the jersey was made in only limited sizes and many riders found it a struggle to pull one on, especially when tired or wet. The presentation jersey is now made with a full-length zip at the back and the rider pulls it on from the front, sliding his hands through the sleeves rather like a strait-jacket. He then receives three further jerseys each day, plus money (referred to as the "rent") for each day he leads the race.
There is no copyright on the yellow jersey and it has been imitated by many other races, although not always for the best rider overall: in the Tour of Benelux yellow is worn by the best young rider. In professional surf, the current male and female leaders of the World Surf League get to wear a yellow jersey on all the heats of a tour stop.
In American English it is sometimes referred to as the mellow johnny, a mispronunciation of its French name originally by Lance Armstrong, who wore it many times while riding in the 1999-2005 races. Armstrong also uses the name "Mellow Johnny" for his Texas-based bike shop. The Lance Armstrong Foundation donated the yellow jersey from Armstrong's fourth Tour de France win (2002) to the National Museum of American History.
On 19 July 2019, on the occasion of the centenary, a plaque was unveiled on the scene of delivery of the first yellow jersey in Grenoble.
The Tour de France, and other bicycle stage races, are decided by totalling the time each rider takes on the daily stages. Time can be added or subtracted from this total time as bonuses or penalties for winning individual stages or being first to the top of a climb or for infractions of the rules. The rider with the lowest overall time at the end of each stage receives a ceremonial yellow bicycling jersey and the right to start the next stage, usually the next day, of the Tour in the yellow jersey.
The rider to receive the yellow jersey after the last stage in Paris, is the overall (or ultimate) winner of the Tour.
Similar leader's jerseys exist in other cycling races, but are not always yellow (the color being chosen by the individual race organizers). The Tour of California uses gold, the Giro d'Italia uses pink and the Tour Down Under uses an ochre-coloured jersey, as ochre is a colour strongly associated with Australia, particularly its desert regions. Until 2009 the Vuelta a España used gold; since 2010 the leader's jersey is red.
In the early years of the Tour de France, the time was measured in minutes, although cyclists were usually seconds apart, with several cyclists sometimes sharing the same time. In 1914, before the introduction of the yellow jersey, this had happened with the two leaders, Philippe Thys and Jean Rossius.
After the introduction of the yellow jersey in 1919, the situation occurred twice. The first time was in 1929, when three riders had the same time when the race reached Bordeaux. Nicolas Frantz of Luxembourg and the Frenchmen Victor Fontan and André Leducq all rode in yellow, although none held it to the finish in Paris.In 1931, Charles Pélissier and Rafaele di Paco were both leading with the same time.
The problem of joint leaders was resolved in later Tours by giving the jersey to whichever rider had the best daily finishing places earlier in the race. The introduction of a short time trial at the start of the race in 1967 - the prologue time trial — meant riders have since been divided by fractions of seconds recorded in that race, excepting the 2008, 2011 and 2013 editions. According to the ASO rules,
Riders who became race leader through the misfortune of others have ridden next day without the yellow jersey.
In 1950, Ferdi Kubler of Switzerland rode in his national jersey rather than yellow when the race leader, Fiorenzo Magni abandoned the race along with the Italian team in protest at threats said to have been made by spectators.
Eddy Merckx declined the jersey in 1971 after its previous wearer, Luis Ocaña, crashed on the col de Mente in the Pyrenees.
The Dutchman Joop Zoetemelk did not wear the yellow jersey that passed to him in 1980 when his rival, Bernard Hinault retired with tendonitis.
In 1991, Greg LeMond rode without the jersey after a crash eliminated Rolf Sørensen of Denmark.
In 2005, Lance Armstrong refused to start in the yellow jersey after the previous owner, David Zabriskie, was eliminated by a crash, but put it on after the neutral zone on request of the race organizers.
In 2015, there was no yellow jersey in stage 7 after Tony Martin had crashed in the previous stage. Martin had finished the previous stage after the crash (and officially retained the yellow jersey as a result), but had broken his collarbone in the crash and did not start stage 7. Chris Froome became the overall leader with Martin's non-start.
The yellow jersey on the first day of the Tour is traditionally permitted to be worn by the winner of the previous year's race; however, wearing it is a choice left to the rider, and in recent years has gone out of fashion. If the winner does not ride, the jersey is not worn. The previous year's winner traditionally has race number "1" (with his teammates given the other single-digit racing numbers), with subsequent sets of numbers determined by the highest classified riders for that team in the previous Tour. The lead riders for a particular team will often wear the first number in the series (11, 21, 31 and so forth), but these riders are not necessarily contenders for the general classification — teams led by sprinters will often designate the points classification contender as their lead rider.
In 2007 there was neither a yellow jersey at the start of the race nor a number 1; the winner from the previous year, Floyd Landis of the United States, failed a doping control after the race, and organisers declined to declare an official winner pending arbitration of the Landis case. On September 20, 2007, Landis was officially stripped of his title following the arbitration court's guilty verdict, and the 2006 title passed to Óscar Pereiro. In 2008, the runner-up from the previous year, Cadel Evans, was given the race number "1" when the 2007 winner, Alberto Contador was unable to defend his title due to a dispute between the organisers ASO and his new team Astana barring that team from riding the Tour.
In 1978 the Belgian rider Michel Pollentier became race leader after attacking on the Alpe d'Huez. He was disqualified the same day after trying to cheat a drug test.
In 1988, Pedro Delgado of Spain won the Tour despite a drug test showing he had taken a drug that could be used to hide the use of steroids. News of the test was leaked to the press by the former organiser of the Tour Jacques Goddet.Delgado was allowed to continue because the drug, probenecid, was not banned by the Union Cycliste Internationale.
The 1996 winner Bjarne Riis of Denmark said, in 2007, that he used drugs during the race. He was asked to stay away from the 2007 Tour in his role as directeur sportif of the Danish Team CSC.
The 2006 winner Floyd Landis was disqualified more than a year after the race. After he failed a doping control test following his stunning Stage 17 victory, an arbitration panel declared him guilty of doping in September 2007; the official title for the 2006 Tour passed to Óscar Pereiro. Landis appealed his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but lost this appeal at the end of June 2008allowing Oscar Pereiro to start the 2008 edition of Le Tour de France as the unqualified 2006 Tour champion.
In 2007, the Danish rider Michael Rasmussen was withdrawn from the race by his team after complaints that he had not made himself available for drug tests earlier in the year. Rasmussen said that he was in Mexico but there were reports that he was seen training in Italy. He later admitted doping for more than a decade.
Maurice Garin won the Tour de France before yellow jerseys were awarded; but in 1904, he was disqualified as winner after complaints that he and other riders cheated. The allegations disappeared with the Tour de France's other archives, when they were taken south in 1940 to avoid the German invasion. But a man, who knew Garin as a small boy, recalled that Garin admitted catching a train part of the way.
In 2012, Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by UCI, following a report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency revealing that Armstrong had systematically used performance-enhancing drugs for much of his career, including all seven Tour victories.
The rider who has most worn the yellow jersey is the Belgian Eddy Merckx, who wore it 96 days. The greatest number of riders to wear the jersey in a single edition of Le Tour de France is eight, which happened in 1958 and 1987.
The yellow jersey was made for decades, like all other cycling jerseys, from wool. No synthetic fibres existed which had both the warmth and the absorption of wool. Embroidery was expensive and so the only lettering to appear on the jersey was the H.D. of Desgrange's initials. Riders added the name of the team for which they were riding or the professional team for which they normally rode (in the years when the Tour was for national rather than sponsored teams) by attaching a panel of printed cloth to the front of the jersey by pins.
While synthetic material did not exist in a way to create whole jerseys, synthetic thread or blends were added in 1947, following the arrival of Sofil as a sponsor. Sofil made artificial yarn.Riders, especially the Frenchman Louison Bobet (Louis Bobet as he was still known), believed in the pureness of wool. Bobet insisted that cyclists needed wool for their long days of sweating in the heat and dust. It was a matter of hygiene. Artificial fabrics made riders sweat too much. And, in his first Tour de France, he refused to wear the jersey with which he had been presented.
No compromise was possible. Goddet had to get Sofil to produce another jersey overnight, its logo still visible but artificial fabric absent.
For the veteran writer and television broadcaster Jean-Paul Ollivier, the woollen yellow jersey...
The advent of printing by flocking, a process in which cotton fluff is sprayed on to stencilled glue, and then of screen printing, combined with the domination of synthetic materials to increase the advertising on jerseys: the domination which Ollivier regrets. "All sorts of fantasies such as fluorescent jerseys or shorts," he said.Such was the quantity of advertising when Bernard Thévenet accepted the yellow jersey when the Tour finished for the first time on the Champs Elysées in 1975 that the French sports minister counted all the logos and protested to broadcasters. Since then the number of people with access to the podium has been restricted.
The French bank, Crédit Lyonnais, has sponsored the maillot jaune since 1987.The company has been a commercial partner of the Tour since 1981. It awards a toy lion - le lion en peluche - to each day's winner as a play on its name. In 2007, sponsorship of the jersey was credited to LCL, the new name for Crédit Lyonnais following its takeover by another bank, Crédit Agricole.
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.
The 2001 Tour de France was a multiple-stage bicycle race held from 7 to 29 July, and the 88th edition of the Tour de France. It has no overall winner—although American cyclist Lance Armstrong originally won the event, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced in August 2012 that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005. The verdict was subsequently confirmed by the Union Cycliste Internationale.
The 2002 Tour de France was a multiple-stage bicycle race held from 6 to 28 July, and the 89th edition of the Tour de France. The event started in Luxembourg and ended in Paris. The Tour circled France counter-clockwise, visiting the Pyrenees before the Alps. It has no overall winner—although American cyclist Lance Armstrong originally won the event, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced in August 2012 that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005; the Union Cycliste Internationale has confirmed this verdict.
The 2003 Tour de France was a multiple stage bicycle race held from 5 to 27 July, and the 90th edition of the Tour de France. It has no overall winner—although American cyclist Lance Armstrong originally won the event, the United States Anti-Doping Agency announced in August 2012 that they had disqualified Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2005; the Union Cycliste Internationale has confirmed this verdict.
Louis "Louison" Bobet was a French professional road racing cyclist. He was the first great French rider of the post-war period and the first rider to win the Tour de France in three successive years, from 1953 to 1955. His career included the national road championship, Milan–San Remo (1951), Giro di Lombardia (1951), Critérium International, Paris–Nice (1952), Grand Prix des Nations (1952), world road championship (1954), Tour of Flanders (1955), Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (1955), Tour de Luxembourg (1955), Paris–Roubaix (1956) and Bordeaux–Paris (1959).
L'Équipe is a French nationwide daily newspaper devoted to sport, owned by Éditions Philippe Amaury. The paper is noted for coverage of association football, rugby, motorsport and cycling. Its predecessor was L'Auto, a general sports paper whose name reflected not any narrow interest but the excitement of the time in car racing.
The 2006 Tour de France was the 93rd edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It took place between the 1st and the 23rd of July. It was won by Óscar Pereiro following the disqualification of apparent winner Floyd Landis. Due to United States Anti-Doping Agency announcing in August 2012 that they had disqualified Lance Armstrong from all his results since 1998, including his seven Tour de France wins from 1999–2005, this is the first Tour to have an overall winner since 1998.
The 1984 Tour de France was the 71st edition of the Tour de France, run over 4,021 km (2,499 mi) in 23 stages and a prologue, from 29 June to 22 July.
The 1929 Tour de France was the 23rd edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 30 June to 28 July. It consisted of 22 stages over 5,286 km (3,285 mi).
The 1962 Tour de France was the 49th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. The 4,274-kilometre (2,656 mi) race consisted of 22 stages, including two split stages, starting in Nancy on 24 June and finishing at the Parc des Princes in Paris on 15 July. There were four time trial stages and no rest days. After more than 30 years, the Tour was again contested by trade teams instead of national teams. Jacques Anquetil of the Saint-Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson team won the overall general classification, defending his title to win his third Tour de France. Jef Planckaert (Flandria–Faema–Clément) placed second, 4 min 59 s in arrears, and Raymond Poulidor (Mercier–BP–Hutchinson) was third, over ten minutes behind Anquetil.
There have been allegations of doping in the Tour de France since the race began in 1903. Early Tour riders consumed alcohol and used ether, among other substances, as a means of dulling the pain of competing in endurance cycling. Riders began using substances as a means of increasing performance rather than dulling the senses, and organizing bodies such as the Tour and the International Cycling Union (UCI), as well as government bodies, enacted policies to combat the practice.
The 1961 Tour de France was the 48th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It took place between 25 June and 16 July, with 21 stages covering a distance of 4,397 km (2,732 mi). Out of the 132 riders who started the tour, 72 managed to complete the tour's tough course. Throughout the 1961 Tour de France, two of the French national team's riders, André Darrigade and Jacques Anquetil held the yellow jersey for the entirety 21 stages. There was a great deal of excitement between the second and third places, concluding with Guido Carlesi stealing Charly Gaul's second place position on the last day by two seconds.
The 1919 Tour de France was the 13th edition of the Tour de France, taking place from 29 June to 27 July over a total distance of 5,560 kilometres (3,450 mi). It was the first Tour de France after World War I, and was won by Firmin Lambot. Following the tenth stage, the yellow jersey, given to the leader of the general classification, was introduced, and first worn by Eugène Christophe.
Since the first Tour de France in 1903, there have been 2,163 stages, up to and including the final stage of the 2019 Tour de France. Since 1919, the race leader following each stage has been awarded the yellow jersey.
Vito Favero was an Italian road racing cyclist. He was professional from 1956 to 1962. In the 1958 Tour de France, he finished second. Stage 14 of the 1958 Tour was won by Federico Bahamontes but Favero took over the Yellow Jersey. At that point he was already the 8th different rider to lead the race and he would hold his lead for four stages when Charly Gaul won stage 18 and Raphaël Géminiani took over as the 9th different rider to lead the race. Géminiani would hold the lead for three stages but in stage 21 Favero retook the lead as Gaul added another stage win. Favero would remain in Yellow for another two stages until Gaul won the final time trial and became the record setting eleventh rider to wear the Maillot Jaune in a single edition of the Tour.
The 2009 Tour de France was the 96th edition of the Tour de France, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It started on 4 July in the principality of Monaco with a 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) individual time trial which included a section of the Circuit de Monaco. The race visited six countries: Monaco, France, Spain, Andorra, Switzerland and Italy, and finished on 26 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
The Tour de France was not held during World War II because the organisers refused German requests. Although a 1940 Tour de France had been announced earlier, the outbreak of the war made it impossible for it to be held. After that, some attempts were made by the Germans during the war to have a Tour de France to maintain the sense of normality, but l'Auto, the organising newspaper, refused. Some other races were run as a replacement.
The 2010 Tour de France was the 97th edition of the Tour de France cycle race, one of cycling's Grand Tours. It started on 3 July with an 8.9 km prologue time trial in Rotterdam, the first start in the Netherlands since 1996. The race visited three countries: the Netherlands, Belgium and France, and finished on 25 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
The team classification is a prize given in the Tour de France to the best team in the race. It has been awarded since 1930, and the calculation has changed throughout the years. There is no colored jersey for this, but the numbers on the jerseys of the members of the team with the best performance in the general classification at the end of the previous stage are against a yellow background instead of white.
Media related to General classification in the Tour de France at Wikimedia Commons