Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

The Tour de France starts on July 7 live on ITV4 here's a guide to what the coloured jerseys really mean

The four Tour de France jersey winners celebrate their success in 2017. Photo: PA

The 2018 Tour de France gets underway on Saturday, July 7 in the Vendee region.

Here, Press Association Sport explains the different-coloured jerseys.

YELLOW

Given to the overall race leader, namely the rider who has completed the stages so far in the shortest combined time. The jersey is thought to date back to 1919 and takes its colour from L'Auto, the newspaper owned by race founder and sponsor Henri Desgrange, and the forerunner of today's L'Equipe. L'Auto was published on yellow paper. Eddy 'the Cannibal' Merckx wore yellow for a record 96 days during his career. Chris Froome leads all active riders with 59 days spent in yellow.

Chris Froome (yellow jersey) of Great Britain and his Sky Team teammates ride along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees Credit: PA

GREEN

The next most prestigious jersey is given to the leader in the points classification which rewards sprinters, the riders who can be seen barrelling to the line in a bunch finish. During each stage, points are attributed during the intermediary sprints and at the finish. The jersey was introduced in 1953. Germany's Erik Zabel won it a record six consecutive times between 1996 and 2001. World champion Peter Sagan has five green jerseys to his name, but could not match Zabel's record last year as he was controversially disqualified following a crash with Mark Cavendish on stage four. Sagan starts this year's race as the favourite to win green again.

Australian Michael Matthews of Team Sunweb celebrates on the podium in the green jersey of leader in the sprint. Credit: PA

POLKA DOT

The King of the Mountains. Like the green jersey, riders succeed in the climbers' classification by claiming points, in this case for being the first to the top of designated hills and mountains, the greatest number of points being awarded for the hardest ascents. Although the award was introduced in 1933, the distinctive jersey was not brought in until 1975. Scotland's Robert Millar was King of the Mountains in 1984, while in 2015 Froome became the first rider to win the polka dot jersey and yellow jersey in the same Tour since Merckx in 1970.

French Warren Barguil of Team Sunweb wearing the polka-dot jersey for the best climber celebrates as he crosses the finish line. Credit: PA

WHITE

Given to the best-placed rider under 25 years old on January 1 of the year the Tour is ridden. The jersey was introduced in 1975. It was abandoned in 1989 but reintroduced in 1999. Britain's Adam Yates won the classification in 2016, and his twin brother Simon took it 12 months later.

Yates celebrates on the podium in the white jersey for best young rider. Credit: PA

For all updates and fresh content visit our dedicated Tour de France website HERE