If you've ever wondered what all those special Tour de France cycling jerseys mean, read on.
Yellow Jersey2 of 10
The most universally recognized jersey, the maillot jaune (French for yellow jersey) is worn by the overall time leader. The penultimate status symbol in professional cycling was first awarded in 1919 and is calculated by the total combined race time up to that point for each rider.
Notable Winners: Lance Armstron, Eddy Mercx, Bernaud Hinault, Greg LeMond
Green Jersey3 of 10
In cycling, as in life, green signals GO. And specifically, go fast. The green jersey is awarded to the cyclist with the highest number of sprint points, which are gained by the riders based on their finish in each stage. However, not all stages are created equal; the number of points for each place and the number of riders rewarded varies depending on the type of stage. Flatter stages offer higher rewards, as they are more likely to finish in a sprint, and points are also awarded for individual time trial stages. Finally, additional points are up for grabs two to three times during each stage during pre-determined sprint contests.
Notable Winners: Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, Tom Boonen
Polka Dot Jersey4 of 10
The boldest fashion statement from this group, the polka dot jersey signifies the King of the Mountains. First awarded in 1933, the distinct pattern didn't come about until 1975 and is determined by points earned at the top of each climb in the Tour. The climbs are divided into categories from 1 to 4 based on their difficulty (1 being the most difficult); a fifth category, called Hors categorie (outside category) denotes mountains even more difficult than those in the No. 1 category.
Notable Winners: Chris Froome, Richard Virenque, Federico Bahamontes
White Jersey5 of 10
The white jersey is awarded to the best young rider in the Tour (younger than 25 years old on January 1 of the same year). A proving ground for many future winners, the white jersey is based on GC points.
Notable Winners: Nairo Quintana, Tejay van Garderen, Jan Ullrich
Rainbow Jersey6 of 10
Proudly worn year-round, the rainbow jersey denotes the reigning winner of the UCI World Championships. Awarded in all major cycling categories (road, mountain, cyclocross, track, etc.), the rainbow jersey is also rumored to curse the wearer with poor luck the season after they earn their stripes.
Notable Winners: Peter Sagan, Cadel Evans, Lance Armstrong, Greg LeMond
National Jerseys7 of 10
The current national road race champions can wear their national jerseys in ordinary stages while national time-trial champions may only wear theirs during time-trial stages.
Combination Jersey8 of 10
No longer awarded, the combination jersey (also known as the patchwork jersey) was seen as the best all-around cyclist and was awarded to the cyclist who did the best in all classifications: general, sprint and mountain. It was last awarded in 1989.
Notable Winners: Laurent Fignon, Sean Kelly, Eddy Merckx
Red Jersey9 of 10
This short-lived award was worn by the leader of the intermediate sprints classification from 1984 to 1989. Points were awarded for non-sprint finishes and eventually deemed redundant to the green jersey.
Notable Winners: Sean Kelly, Bernard Hinault, Eddy Merckx
Other Awards10 of 10
The prix de la combativité , or the combativity award, rewards the rider who works the hardest and shows the best sporting spirit. This prize, awarded during the road stages, is determined by a jury presided over by the race director. At the end of the race, the jury picks the super-combatif rider for the entire race.
Notable winners: Peter Sagan, Bernard Hinault, Jacky Durand