Points classification in the Tour de France

Green jersey

The 1993 green jersey, worn by Mario Cipollini
Award details
Sport Road bicycle racing
Competition Tour de France
Given for Best sprinter
Local name Maillot vert  (French)
First award 1953
Editions 63 (as of 2016)
First winner  Fritz Schär (SUI)
Most wins

 Erik Zabel (GER)

6 times
Most recent  Peter Sagan (SVK)

The points classification is a secondary competition in the Tour de France, that started in 1953. Points are given for high finishes in a stage and for winning intermediate sprints, and these are recorded in a points classification. It is considered a sprinters' competition. The leader is indicated by a green jersey (French: maillot vert) which has become a symbol for the points classification in the sense that when a cyclist wins the points classification.

The system has inspired many other cycling races; the other two Grand Tours have also installed points classifications: the Vuelta a España since 1955, also using a green jersey, and the Giro d'Italia since 1966.


After scandals in the 1904 Tour de France, the rules of the 1905 Tour de France were changed: the winner was no longer determined by the time system, but with the points system. The cyclists received points, equal to their ranking in the stage, and the cyclist with the least points was the leader of the race. After the 1912 Tour de France, the system was changed back to the time system that is still in use.

In the 1953 Tour de France, to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Tour de France, the points system was reintroduced, but this time as an additional classification. Because the leader in the general classification wears a yellow jersey, the leader in the points classification also received a special jersey, a green jersey (French: maillot vert). The color green was chosen because the sponsor was a lawn mower producer.

In the first years, the cyclist only received penalty points for not finishing with a high place, so the cyclist with the least points was awarded the green jersey. From 1959 on, the system was changed so the cyclists were awarded points for high place finishes (with first place getting the most points, and lower placings getting successively fewer points), so the cyclist with the most points was awarded the green jersey.

In 1968 the jersey was red, to please the sponsor.[1]

Whereas the yellow jersey is awarded for the lowest cumulative time in the race, the green jersey reflects points gained for high placings on each stage and intermediate "hot spots", especially during the flat stages of the Tour. The intermediate sprints were formerly for the intermediate sprints classification, with the points for the points classification a 'side-effect'; however, the intermediate sprints classification was later scrapped, but the intermediate sprints remained part of the points classification.

The points classification is widely thought of as the "sprinter's competition", since the most points are scored in flat stages, in which the riders generally remain together in one large peloton, leaving the best sprinters at the end to fight for the stage win.[2] However, to win the competition a rider will need a reasonable level of all-round skills as well as strong sprinting, since he will need to finish within the time limit on mountain stages to remain in contention, and ideally will be able to contest intermediate sprints during mountain stages as well. For example, Mario Cipollini was one of the best sprinters of his era but was never in contention for the points classification because he was unwilling to make it through the mountain stages and finish the race (however, he did finish the Giro d'Italia and won its points classification several times).

On four occasions, the winner of the points classification was also the winner of the general classification: three times by Eddy Merckx, and once by Bernard Hinault. In 1969, Eddy Merckx won the general classification, the points classification and the mountains classification, a unique performance in the Tour de France.

Points system

Current situation

"flat" stage finish50302018161412108765432
"hilly finish/medium mountain" stage finish30252219171513119765432
"high mountain" stage finish201715131110987654321
individual time trial201715131110987654321
intermediate sprint201715131110987654321


2011 to 2014

Currently, the points classification is calculated by adding up the points collected in the stage and subtracting penalty points. Points are rewarded for the first cyclists to cross the finish-line or the intermediate sprint line,[2] and for the cyclists with the fastest times in the prologue or individual time trials. In the 2011 Tour de France, the following scheme was used:[4]

"flat" stage finish45353026222018161412108642
"medium mountain" stage finish30252219171513119765432
"high mountain" stage finish201715131110987654321
prologue/individual time trial201715131110987654321
intermediate sprint201715131110987654321

Riders can lose points for various infractions to the rules, which means some riders finish the Tour with a negative points tally.[5]

Before the start of the Tour de France, the organization declares which stages are considered "flat", "medium mountain" or "high mountain". Flat stages typically have few or no categorized climbs (several 4th category and an occasional 3rd category), medium mountain stages have numerous climbs, typically 2nd and 3rd category, and high mountain stages have numerous large climbs, often 1st category or hors categorie.

When the order in which cyclists crossed the line cannot be determined or when cyclists score exactly the same time in the prologue/individual time trial, the cyclists divide the points (rounded up to the nearest 1/2 point). A cyclist that does not finish a stage is removed from the points classification. After every stage, the leader in the points classification is given a green jersey. In the event of a tie in the ranking, the cyclist with the most stage victories is the leader. If that is also a tie, the number of intermediate sprint victories indicates the leader. If that is also a tie, the general classification determines the leader. At the end of the Tour de France, the cyclist leading the points classification is the winner of the green jersey.

Before 2011

The rules have varied over the years. When the system started in 1953, the ranks of each cyclist in a stage were added, and the cyclist with the lowest number of points won. Later, points were given to the first few cyclists in each stage. Even later, the point system started to differentiate for stage type, typically assigning more points to flat stages. Intermediate sprints were also given points.

In 2009, the system had evolved to the following, with either two or three intermediate sprints per stage:[6]

"flat" stage finish35302624222019181716151413121110987654321
"medium mountain" stage finish2522201816151413121110987654321
"high mountain" stage finish201715131210987654321
prologue/individual time trial1512108654321
intermediate sprint642


Year Winner Points Second place Points Third place Points
1953  Fritz Schär (SUI) 271  Fiorenzo Magni (ITA) 307  Raphaël Géminiani (FRA) 406
1954  Ferdinand Kübler (SUI) 215.5  Stan Ockers (BEL) 284.5  Fritz Schär (SUI) 286.5
1955  Stan Ockers (BEL) 322  Wout Wagtmans (NED) 399  Miguel Poblet (ESP) 409
1956  Stan Ockers (BEL) 280  Fernand Picot (FRA) 464  Gerrit Voorting (NED) 465
1957  Jean Forestier (FRA) 301  Wim van Est (NED) 317  Adolf Christian (SUI) 366
1958  Jean Graczyk (FRA) 347  Joseph Planckaert (BEL) 406  André Darrigade (FRA) 553
1959  André Darrigade (FRA) 613  Gérard Saint (FRA) 524  Jacques Anquetil (FRA) 503
1960  Jean Graczyk (FRA) 74  Graziano Battistini (ITA) 40  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) 35
1961  André Darrigade (FRA) 174  Jean Gainche (FRA) 169  Guido Carlesi (ITA) 148
1962  Rudi Altig (FRG) 173  Emile Daems (BEL) 144  Jean Graczyk (FRA) 140
1963  Rik Van Looy (BEL) 275  Jacques Anquetil (FRA) 138  Federico Bahamontes (ESP) 123
1964  Jan Janssen (NED) 208  Edward Sels (BEL) 199  Rudi Altig (FRG) 165
1965  Jan Janssen (NED) 144  Guido Reybrouck (BEL) 130  Felice Gimondi (ITA) 124
1966  Willy Planckaert (BEL) 211  Gerben Karstens (NED) 189  Edward Sels (BEL) 178
1967  Jan Janssen (NED) 154  Guido Reybrouck (BEL) 119  Georges Vandenberghe (BEL) 111
1968  Franco Bitossi (ITA) 241  Walter Godefroot (BEL) 219  Jan Janssen (NED) 200
1969  Eddy Merckx (BEL) 244  Jan Janssen (NED) 149  Marinus Wagtmans (NED) 136
1970  Walter Godefroot (BEL) 212  Eddy Merckx (BEL) 207  Marino Basso (ITA) 161
1971  Eddy Merckx (BEL) 202  Cyrille Guimard (FRA) 186  Gerben Karstens (NED) 107
1972  Eddy Merckx (BEL) 196  Rik Van Linden (BEL) 135  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) 132
1973  Herman Van Springel (BEL) 187  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) 168  Luis Ocaña (ESP) 145
1974  Patrick Sercu (BEL) 283  Eddy Merckx (BEL) 270  Barry Hoban (GBR) 170
1975  Rik Van Linden (BEL) 342  Eddy Merckx (BEL) 240  Francesco Moser (ITA) 199
1976  Freddy Maertens (BEL) 293  Pierino Gavazzi (ITA) 140  Jacques Esclassan (FRA) 128
1977  Jacques Esclassan (FRA) 236  Giacinto Santambrogio (ITA) 140  Dietrich Thurau (GER) 137
1978  Freddy Maertens (BEL) 242  Jacques Esclassan (FRA) 189  Bernard Hinault (FRA) 123
1979  Bernard Hinault (FRA) 253  Dietrich Thurau (GER) 157  Joop Zoetemelk (NED) 109
1980  Rudy Pevenage (BEL) 194  Sean Kelly (IRL) 153  Ludo Peeters (BEL) 148
1981  Freddy Maertens (BEL) 428  William Tackaert (BEL) 222  Bernard Hinault (FRA) 184
1982  Sean Kelly (IRL) 429  Bernard Hinault (FRA) 152  Phil Anderson (AUS) 149
1983  Sean Kelly (IRL) 360  Frits Pirard (NED) 144  Laurent Fignon (FRA) 126
1984  Frank Hoste (BEL) 322  Sean Kelly (IRL) 318  Eric Vanderaerden (BEL) 247
1985  Sean Kelly (IRL) 434  Greg LeMond (USA) 332  Stephen Roche (IRL) 279
1986  Eric Vanderaerden (BEL) 277  Jozef Lieckens (BEL) 232  Bernard Hinault (FRA) 210
1987  Jean-Paul van Poppel (NED) 263  Stephen Roche (IRL) 247  Pedro Delgado (ESP) 228
1988  Eddy Planckaert (BEL) 278  Davis Phinney (USA) 193  Sean Kelly (IRL) 183
1989  Sean Kelly (IRL) 277  Etienne De Wilde (BEL) 194  Steven Rooks (NED) 163
1990  Olaf Ludwig (GDR) 256  Johan Museeuw (BEL) 221  Erik Breukink (NED) 118
1991  Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (URS) 316  Laurent Jalabert (FRA) 263  Olaf Ludwig (GER) 175
1992  Laurent Jalabert (FRA) 293  Johan Museeuw (BEL) 262  Claudio Chiappucci (ITA) 202
1993  Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (UZB) 298  Johan Museeuw (BEL) 157  Maximillian Sciandri (ITA) 153
1994  Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (UZB) 322  Silvio Martinello (ITA) 273  Ján Svorada (SVK) 230
1995  Laurent Jalabert (FRA) 333  Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (UZB) 271  Miguel Indurain (ESP) 180
1996  Erik Zabel (GER) 335  Frederic Moncassin (FRA) 284  Fabio Baldato (ITA) 255
1997  Erik Zabel (GER) 350  Frederic Moncassin (FRA) 223  Mario Traversoni (ITA) 198
1998  Erik Zabel (GER) 327  Stuart O'Grady (AUS) 230  Tom Steels (BEL) 221
1999  Erik Zabel (GER) 323  Stuart O'Grady (AUS) 275  Christophe Capelle (FRA) 196
2000  Erik Zabel (GER) 321  Robbie McEwen (AUS) 203  Romans Vainšteins (LAT) 184
2001  Erik Zabel (GER) 252  Stuart O'Grady (AUS) 244  Damien Nazon (FRA) 169
2002  Robbie McEwen (AUS) 280  Erik Zabel (GER) 261  Stuart O'Grady (AUS) 208
2003  Baden Cooke (AUS) 216  Robbie McEwen (AUS) 214  Erik Zabel (GER) 188
2004  Robbie McEwen (AUS) 272  Thor Hushovd (NOR) 247  Erik Zabel (GER) 245
2005  Thor Hushovd (NOR) 194  Stuart O'Grady (AUS) 182  Robbie McEwen (AUS) 178
2006  Robbie McEwen (AUS) 288  Erik Zabel (GER) 199  Thor Hushovd (NOR) 195
2007  Tom Boonen (BEL) 256  Robert Hunter (RSA) 234  Erik Zabel (GER) 232
2008  Óscar Freire (ESP) 270  Thor Hushovd (NOR) 220  Erik Zabel (GER) 217
2009  Thor Hushovd (NOR) 280  Mark Cavendish (GBR) 270  Gerald Ciolek (GER) 172
2010  Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) 243  Mark Cavendish (GBR) 232  Thor Hushovd (NOR) 222
2011  Mark Cavendish (GBR) 334  José Joaquín Rojas (ESP) 272  Philippe Gilbert (BEL) 236
2012  Peter Sagan (SVK) 421  André Greipel (GER) 280  Matthew Goss (AUS) 260
2013  Peter Sagan (SVK) 409  Mark Cavendish (GBR) 312  André Greipel (GER) 267
2014  Peter Sagan (SVK) 431  Alexander Kristoff (NOR) 282  Bryan Coquard (FRA) 271
2015  Peter Sagan (SVK) 432  André Greipel (GER) 366  John Degenkolb (GER) 298
2016  Peter Sagan (SVK) 470  Marcel Kittel (GER) 228  Michael Matthews (AUS) 199

Repeat winners

Rank Name Country Wins Years
1 Erik Zabel  Germany 6 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
2 Peter Sagan  Slovakia 5 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
3 Sean Kelly  Ireland 4 1982, 1983, 1985, 1989
4 Jan Janssen  Netherlands 3 1964, 1965, 1967
Eddy Merckx  Belgium 3 1969, 1971, 1972
Freddy Maertens  Belgium 3 1976, 1978, 1981
Djamolidine Abdoujaparov  Uzbekistan 3 1991, 1993, 1994
Robbie McEwen  Australia 3 2002, 2004, 2006
9 Stan Ockers  Belgium 2 1955, 1956
Jean Graczyk  France 2 1958, 1960
André Darrigade  France 2 1959, 1961
Laurent Jalabert  France 2 1992, 1995
Thor Hushovd  Norway 2 2005, 2009

By nationality

Rank Country Wins
1  Belgium 19
2  France 9
3  Germany 8
4  Slovakia 5
5  Australia 4
=  Ireland 4
=  Netherlands 4
8  Uzbekistan 3
9  Italy 2
=  Norway 2
=   Switzerland 2
12  Spain 1
=  United Kingdom 1


  1. "Tour Xtra: Green Jersey". Cvccbike.com. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
  2. 1 2 Christian, Sarah (2 July 2009). "Tour de France demystified - Evaluating success". RoadCycling.co.nz Ltd. Retrieved 17 April 2012.
  3. "Sporting stakes / rules".
  4. "Regulations of the race" (PDF). ASO/letour.fr. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  5. "Le Tour 101". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2007-08-01.
  6. "Regulations of the race" (PDF). ASO/letour.fr. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
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