Team classification in the Tour de France

Team classification
Award details
Sport Road bicycle racing
Competition Tour de France
Given for Best team
Local name Classement d'équipes  (French)
First award 1930
Editions 79 (as of 2016)
First winner France
Most recent Movistar Team

The team classification is a prize given in the Tour de France to the best team in the race. It has been awarded since 1930, and the calculation has changed throughout the years. There is no colored jersey for this, but the numbers on the jerseys of the members of the team with the best performance in the general classification at the end of the previous stage are against a yellow background instead of white.


The "Challenge Martini" trophy for 1956, won by the Belgian national team

In the early years of the Tour de France, cyclists entered as individuals. Although they had sponsors, they were not allowed to work as a team, because tour organiser Henri Desgrange wanted the Tour de France to be a display of individual strength. In those years, cyclists could also participate unsponsored. They were categorized under different names;[1] 1909-1914: Isolés; 1919: Categorie B; 1920-19221922: 2° Classe; 1923-1926: Touristes-Routiers; 1937: Individuels.

In 1930, Henri Desgrange gave up the idea that cyclist should race individually, and changed the format to real teams. He was still against sponsors assistance, so the cyclists were grouped in countries. This was the situation in the Tours of 19301961 and 19671968. Between 1962 and 1966 and after 1969, sponsored teams entered the race.

At the introduction of teams in 1930, a prize for the winning team was introduced, then called the Challenge international.[2] In 1930, the classification was calculated by adding the times of the [3] three best cyclists in the general classification.

In 1961, the calculation was changed. The team classification was changed into a points system, where a team received one point for the best team-time in the stage, and the team with the most points was the winner. This system was also used in 1962, but in 1963 the calculation was reverted to the time calculation. In the 1970s, this system was reintroduced as the team points competition, although in a different way: after every stage, all cyclists received points (1 for the winner, 2 for the second, etc.) and these were added, and the team with the fewest points was the winner of the team points classification.[4]

Until 1990, the team classification leaders could be recognized by yellow caps. Since 2006 the best team has worn black on yellow back numbers.[3][5] Beginning in 2012 the best team was awarded the right, but not the obligation, to wear yellow helmets.[6][7]


The team classification is considered less important than the individual general classification, and it is rare that a team starts the Tour with the main goal of winning the team classification. If during the race a team is in a good position to win the team classification, the team may change tactics in order to win.[3]

When Lance Armstrong lost hopes of winning in 2010, he instructed his team mates to keep an eye on their main rivals for the team classification, and his Team RadioShack won the team classification.[3]

A good performance in the team classification may help a team to qualify for the next Tour de France. In 2010, a system was set up to determine which teams qualify as UCI ProTeams, and the team classification in the Tour de France was part of this system.[3]


As of 2011, the team classification is calculated by adding the times of the three best riders of each team per stage; time bonuses and penalties are ignored. In a team time trial, the team gets the time of the fifth rider of that team to cross the finish, or the last rider if there are fewer than five left for the team. If a team has fewer than three cyclists remaining, it is removed from this classification.


Team classification

Team classification winners[8]
Year Team
1930 France
1931 Belgium
1932 Itlay
1933 France
1934 France
1935 Belgium
1936 Belgium
1937 France
1938 Belgium
1939 Belgium B[lower-alpha 1]
1947 Itlay
1948 Belgium A[lower-alpha 1]
1949 Itlay A[lower-alpha 1]
1950 Belgium A[lower-alpha 1]
1951 France
1952 Itlay
1953 Netherlands
1954 Switzerland
1955 France
1956 Belgium
Year Team
1957 France
1958 Belgium
1959 Belgium
1960 France
1961 France
1962 St. Raphaël
1963 St. Raphaël
1964 Pelforth
1965 Kas
1966 Kas
1967 France
1968 Spain
1969 Faema
1970 Salvarani
1971 Bic
1972 Gan–Mercier
1973 Bic
1974 Kas
1975 Gan–Mercier
1976 Kas
Year Team
1977 TI-Raleigh
1978 Miko–Mercier
1979 Renault
1980 Miko–Mercier
1981 Peugeot
1982 Coöp–Mercier
1983 TI-Raleigh
1984 Renault
1985 La Vie Claire
1986 La Vie Claire
1987 Système ‘U’
1988 PDM
1989 PDM
1990 Z-Peugeot
1991 Banesto
1992 Carrera Jeans–Vagabond
1993 Carrera Jeans–Tassoni
1994 Festina
1995 ONCE
1996 Festina
Year Team
1997 Team Telekom
1998 Cofidis
1999 Banesto
2000 Kelme
2001 Kelme
2002 ONCE–Eroski
2003 Team CSC
2004 T-Mobile Team
2005 T-Mobile Team
2006 T-Mobile Team
2007 Discovery Channel
2008 CSC–Saxo Bank
2009 Astana
2010 Team RadioShack
2011 Garmin–Cervélo
2012 RadioShack–Nissan
2013 Saxo–Tinkoff
2014 Ag2r–La Mondiale
2015 Movistar Team
2016 Movistar Team

Team points classification

Between 1973 and 1989, there was an additional team points classification.[9]

year Team
1973 Gan–Mercier
1974 Gan–Mercier
1976 Gan–Mercier
1977 Peugeot
1978 Raleigh
1979 Renault
1980 Raleigh
1981 Peugeot
1982 Raleigh
1983 Raleigh
1984 Panasonic-Raleigh
1985 La Vie Claire
1986 Panasonic
1987 Système U
1988 PDM


  1. 1 2 3 4 In some years, countries entered multiple teams. In 1939, Belgium entered two teams and won the team competition with team B. In 1948 and 1950, Belgium won with team A. In 1949, Italy entered two teams and won the team competition with team A.


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