By Claire Philbin
This year is the 100th Anniversary of the yellow jersey. An iconic symbol in the world of cycling, especially when it comes to the Tour de France, the yellow jersey symbolises the stage leader as well as the winner upon finishing. Many cyclists have won the yellow jersey consecutively and become household names in their legendary status, but who is next? We’ll be taking a look at previous winners and future hopefuls. Take a look and bet on tour de France 2019 winner today.
Since 1919, the race leader at each stage of a race has been awarded the yellow jersey but only as a wearer, you are a winner of a yellow jersey if you win the tour event. The yellow jersey always stands out easily for camera crews and spectators to see. The nature of the jersey means that other cyclists and teams cannot have their colours in yellow so that they are not mistaken for the stage winner. Since the first award of the yellow jersey, there have 2,148 stages (up to and including the sixth stage of the Tour de France 2019) meaning there have been a lot of holders and winners throughout history.
The jersey was properly introduced in 1919, although between 1903-1919 winners of the tour wore green armbands, they’re considered now as yellow jersey winners, including the first winner of the Tour de France in 1903, Maurice Garin.
Starting at the beginning, the first person to win a yellow jersey in 1919 was Firmin Lambot from Belgium. Most of the race saw Eugene Christophe from France as the race leader, in fact, he held that title from stage 4 all the way to stage 13, where the race leader then became Lambot, the eventual winner. Based on statistics, Lambot only won one stage, the 14th, although he managed to finish the race with a lead of 1 hour 42 minutes and 54 seconds. Of the 67 cyclists that started the race, only 11 finished with one disqualification, only 10 cyclists claimed a place in history.
Beyond the very first winners of the yellow jersey, there have been multiple overall winners in the general classification. Eddy Merckx from Belgium has held a total of 96 jerseys with five tour wins, Bernard Hinault from France has held 75 with five tour wins, closely behind is Miguel Indurain from Spain having held 59 jerseys and four tour wins, then Chris Froome from the UK with 59 yellow jerseys and four tour wins. Froome was favourite to win another tour this year, before suffering a serious injury rendering him out of the competition.
Hopeful future winners
Looking to the near future winners, there are many riders capable of achieving yellow jersey glory. Chris Froome is a great favourite to win future yellow jerseys, but with his injury setback, who knows how long it will take him to recover and whether it is a total recovery or not. The current defending champion is Geraint Thomas, a favourite for most people although after 2019 there are rumours that his yellow jersey chasing might take a step back to make way for teammate Froome.
Other top contenders for the yellow jersey include: Egan Bernal, Jakob Fuglsang, Tom Dumoulin and Adam Yates. Make sure you keep a close eye on these cyclists in the Tour de France, they’re all among the favourites.
Since the yellow jersey introduction, there have been other classifications that have used jerseys to symbolise a leader or winner in the tour. The green jersey symbolises the leader in the point’s competition which is where the best sprinter will gain the most points at certain sections of the race. The polka dot jersey symbolises the mountains classification and is given to the best climber cyclist. Finally, the white jersey symbolises the best-placed rider under 26.