Skip to main content

The jerseys of the 2022 Tour de France

PARIS FRANCE JULY 18 Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Green Points Jersey Tadej Pogaar of Slovenia and UAETeam Emirates Yellow Leader Jersey celebrate at podium during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 21 a 1084km stage from Chatou to Paris Champslyses LeTour TDF2021 on July 18 2021 in Paris France Photo by Chris GraythenGetty Images
Mark Cavendish and Tadej Pogačar on the final podium in Paris last year (Image credit: Chris GraythenGetty Images)

There are four Tour de France classification jerseys awarded after every stage of the three-week race, each recognising different success and talents in the race.

The iconic yellow jersey is worn by the race leader based on time, the green jersey is awarded to the leader based on points awarded at intermediate sprints and the finishes, the red polka-dot king of the mountains jersey is based on points awarded on categorised climbs, while the white best young rider's jersey is another based on time, only reserved for riders born after January 1, 1996.

The team classification is also based on time, with the riders of the leading team racing with special yellow numbers (dossards). The most aggressive rider wears a special red number during the following stage.

The most aggressive rider (super-combatif) of the whole race is selected by members of the jury at the end of the Tour de France and is awarded a trophy on the final podium in Paris just like the other competition winners.

The yellow jersey – the maillot jaune   

Winner Team UAE Emirates Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia celebrates his overall leader yellow jersey on the podium at the end of the 21th and last stage of the 108th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 108 km between Chatou and Paris ChampsElysees on July 18 2021 Photo by AnneChristine POUJOULAT AFP Photo by ANNECHRISTINE POUJOULATAFP via Getty Images

Tadej Pogacar won the yellow jersey for the second time at the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images)

The yellow jersey is worn by the leader of the general classification, the rider with the lowest net time in the race after every stage. The rider who takes it to Paris is crowned the Tour de France winner, the post prestigious success of the men’s cycling season. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the 2021 Tour de France. 

The jersey is yellow because the newspaper that first organised the race, L'Auto, was printed on yellow paper.

The classification is based on the time taken for each rider to cover the 21 stages, taking into account time penalties and time bonuses. In the event of a tie in the general classification, the hundredths of a second recorded by the timekeepers during the individual time trial stages will be included in the total times in order to decide the overall winner. In the absence of a time trial or if the riders remain tied, then the positions in which they finished each stage will be added up and, as a last resort, their finishing position on the final stage will be taken into account.

Bonus seconds are offered to encourage attacking racing and these are deducted for the time needed to cover the stage. Bonuses of 10, 6, 4 seconds are awarded on the finish line to the leading three riders on each stage, excluding time trials.

All riders must finish within the time limit – a certain percentage (ranging from 104% to 120% depending on the stage and average speed) of the stage winner's time each day in order to continue in the race. This is often a problem for sprinters, domestiques and injured riders when it comes to the high mountains.

The green jersey – the maillot vert

CARCASSONNE FRANCE JULY 09 Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Green Points Jersey celebrates at arrival during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 13 a 2199km stage from Nmes to Carcassonne LeTour TDF2021 on July 09 2021 in Carcassonne France Photo by Chris GraythenGetty Images

Mark Cavendish won the green jersey at the 2021 Tour de France (Image credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The green jersey is worn by the leader of the points classification. Points are awarded at stage finishes and intermediate sprints (one per road stage).

While the sprinters are the main candidates for the green jersey, it's the more versatile among them who have the best chance of overall success in Paris. Peter Sagan is one such rider and has won green in seven of the past nine Tours, while Mark Cavendish took his second green jersey last year.

Points are awarded to the first 15 riders at stage finishes or intermediate sprints, with different allocations depending on the nature of the stage. More points are awarded on flat stages than on mountain stages or time trials. The winner of a flat stage scores 50 points, a mountain stage winner just 20.

Only riders who complete the entire Tour de France are included in the points classification.

In the event where a rider or riders finish outside the time limit but are reinstated by the president of the commissaires’ jury, they will lose all points awarded to them in the points classification.                                 

The polka-dot jersey – the maillot blanc à pois rouges

Tour de France 2021 - 108th Edition - 21th stage Chatou - Paris Champs Elysees 108,4 km - 18/07/2021 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Kei Tsuji/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tadej Pogacar celebrates on the podium after winning the best climbers polka dot jersey at the Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The polka-dot jersey is worn by the leader of the mountains classification, who is known as the 'king of the mountains.’

Mountain points are on offer at the top of every classified climb, ranging from the hardest – 'hors catégorie' – to the easiest – category 4.

Hors catégorie: 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-2

Category 1: 10-8-6-4-2-1

Category 2: 5-3-2-1

Category 3: 2-1

Category 4: 1

In the event of two riders being equal on points, the rider with the most first places at the summit of super-category passes or climbs or summit finishes will be declared the winner.

Only riders who complete the entire Tour de France will be included in the best climber classification. In the event of a rider or riders finishing outside the time limit but being reinstated by the president of the commissaires’ jury, they will lose all points awarded to them in the best climber classification.

The white jersey – the maillot blanc

Tour de France 2021 108th Edition 21th stage Chatou Paris Champs Elysees 1084 km 18072021 Tadej Pogacar SLO UAE Team Emirates photo Dario BelingheriBettiniPhoto2021

Tadej Pogacar also won the white jersey of the best young rider at the Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

At the end of the Tour de France in Paris, the super combatif prize is awarded to the most aggressive rider of the whole race, selected by members of the jury

The white jersey is worn by the leader of the best young classification. A 'young rider' is anyone who was born after January 1, 1996, so anyone under 25. The jersey goes to the best placed on general classification.

Tadej Pogačar won both the white jersey and the yellow jersey in 2021 and the white jersey is often an indication of future Tour de France contenders.

The red dossard 

PARIS FRANCE JULY 18 Franck Bonnamour of France and Team BB Hotels pb KTM Most Combative Rider celebrates at podium during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 21 a 1084km stage from Chatou to Paris Champslyses LeTour TDF2021 on July 18 2021 in Paris France Photo by Chris GraythenGetty Images

Frank Bonnamour was the Most Combative Rider last year (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

The special red number dossard is awarded to the rider deemed, subjectively, the ‘most combative’ the previous day. It is usually the rider most active in the breakaway or someone who shows panache and aggression or even qualities of sportsmanship. 

The prize, which is awarded on every road stage except the final one, is decided by a jury presided by the race director. Each stage’s most aggressive rider wears a red race dossard during the following stage.

The race’s most aggressive rider (super-combatif) is selected by members of the jury at the end of the Tour de France.

Yellow dossard

Tour de France 2021 108th Edition 21th stage Chatou Paris Champs Elysees 1084 km 18072021 Sonny Colbrelli ITA Bahrain Victorious Wouter Poels NED Bahrain Victorious Marco Haller AUT Bahrain Victorious Fred Wright GBR Bahrain Victorious Dylan Teuns BEL Bahrain Victorious Pello Bilbao ESP Bahrain Victorious Matej Mohoric SLO Bahrain Victorious photo Dario BelingheriBettiniPhoto2021

Bahrain Victorious took the team prize in 2021 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Wearing the leader’s jerseys is mandatory from the signing-in protocol before the stage start until the post-stage press conference. Skinsuits are provided to the leaders of the various rankings for time trial stages, with special fitting sessions arranged the day before the time trials.

The yellow race number dossard is worn by members of the team leading the teams classification. It is calculated by adding together the times of each team's three best riders on every stage. Any team reduced to fewer than three riders will be eliminated from the team classification.

Riders can lead multiple jersey classifications but only wear one jersey in the race. There is an established order of priority for the different leader’s jerseys: the yellow jersey, followed by the green jersey, then the red polka-dot jersey and finally the white jersey.

When a rider is leading several classifications, they wear the one designated by the order of priority. The other jerseys are then worn by the riders lying second, third or fourth in the corresponding classification.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.


Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.