During the Tour de France, young talented professionals compete for the white jersey. But what is this white jersey and who can win this?
Leader Youth Classification
The leader of the youth classification wears the white jersey. Cyclists can compete for the white jersey in the Tour de France, if they are younger than 25 years old at the beginning of the calendar year. This means that cyclists that are not 25 on the 1st of January of a given year, can compete in the the Tour de France youth classification.
History of the Tour de France White Jersey
To go back to the early days of the white jersey, we have to go back to 1968. However, the white jersey in the Tour de France was then not related to the youth classification, but to a combination classification. This lasted until 1974.
From 1975 onwards, the leader of the youth classification in the Tour de France wore in the white jersey. The rules regarding the youth classification changed quite often. For a while the classification was determined by points instead of time and the youth classification was for a while only applicable to cyclists who participated in the prestigious event in France for the first or second time. Eventually, the decision was made to apply an age restriction and compile the classification based on time.
In 1989, changes were applied to the Tour de France, eliminating, among other things, the red jersey (winner of intermediate sprints) and the white jersey. Ten years later, however, the Tour de France organization regretted withdrawing the white jersey and reintroduced the white jersey and the youth classification.
Famous winners of the Tour de France white jersey
Throughout the years, several famous cyclists have won the white jersey in the Tour de France. Famous winners include Laurent Fignon, Alberto Contador, Egan Bernal and Tadej Pogocar.