What is the Maillot Jaune?
Maillot jaune is French for "yellow jersey." It is a special jersey that only the leader in the Tour de France's overall classification may wear. The jersey was adopted in the 13th Tour de France in 1919 to clarify who is currently in first place. The most common explanation for why the jersey is yellow is that this was the color of "L'Auto," the organizer of the Tour de France. Today, the yellow jersey is a sign of the world's best cycling. When a racer puts it on, it confers a grand honor, as the world takes notice and their name goes down in history.
The maillot jaune
is a life-changing jersey.
That is why the athletes
devote their lives to taking one.
There are other special jerseys in addition to the maillot jaune. The green maillot vert, the points jersey, is awarded to the cyclist with the most sprinting points earned on the flat stages. The maillot blanc a pois rouge, a white jersey with red polka dots, goes to the rider with the most points in the mountain stages, a critical part of the race where the cyclists race up the slopes. The maillot blanc is the all-white young rider's jersey for the fastest under-26 competitor. Yellow is for the overall winner. Green is for speed on the flat stretches. Polka dots are for the king of the mountains. White is for a promising young star. The Tour de France is a battle for these four special jerseys.