FAQ Tour de France 2024: Frequently asked questions

© Kathrin Schafbauer

What to Know About the 2024 Tour de France: Key Questions on Rules, Jerseys, Time Bonuses, Prize Money, etc., Answered Briefly

Yellow, Green, White, and Red Polka-Dot: The jerseys of the Tour de France

Yellow Jersey: The “Maillot Jaune” is worn by the leader in the overall standings. This is the rider with the lowest total time for the stages already completed. Additionally, possible “bonus seconds” have a positive impact on the overall standings.

Green Jersey: The points leader wears green. Points are awarded to the fastest riders at the stage finishes and in the intermediate sprints during the stages. The flatter the stages, the higher the number of points available.

Polka-Dot Jersey: The white jersey with red dots is worn by the rider who has collected the most points in the categorized mountain classifications. The steeper and longer the climb, the more points can be earned. The final climbs in certain stages count double.

White Jersey: The “Maillot Blanc” is the leader’s jersey for young riders. The overall riding time for this classification is calculated the same way. Riders who are 25 years or younger are eligible. This year, the cut-off date is January 1, 1999.

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What Other Classifications Are There?

Team Classification – Yellow Number: An unusual back number – black number on a yellow background – is worn by the riders of the team that leads in the team classification. The times of the three best riders of each team are summed up after each stage. The award ceremony for the best team usually takes place not after the stage but on the morning before the next stage.

Most Aggressive Rider – Special Number: This number is worn by the rider who was named the most aggressive rider of the previous stage. This is determined by a jury based on effort and morale, often awarded to a breakaway rider. The same jury also decides the most aggressive rider of the entire Tour at the end.

Stage Winner: The rider who crosses the finish line first in a stage, except in time trials. If it is not visible to the naked eye who won, a photo finish is used. The front wheel, not the rider’s body, determines the winner. In time trials, the stage winner is the rider with the best net time.

Participants: Who Can Participate in the Tour?

The 18 WorldTeam-licensed teams are automatically qualified, including Team Alpecin-Deceuninck with Mathieu van der Poel and the German team Red Bull BORA-hansgrohe.

In addition to the 18 teams, four more ProTeams can join. Lotto DSTNY and Israel Premier Tech, the two best ProTeams of the previous season, are automatically qualified. Total Energies and Uno-X Pro Cycling Team received a wildcard from the Tour organizer A.S.O. and can also start.


Can the Tour de France be Won Without Winning a Single Stage?

Yes – this has happened eight times in the past; for example, in 2019, Egan Bernal from Team Ineos won the Tour without winning a stage. The overall time (minus any time bonuses) needed to complete the 21 stages is what counts.

Time Bonuses: Can a Rider Earn “Free Minutes”?

“Turning back time” is indeed possible through time bonuses. At the finish of each stage, except the two individual time trials, the first three riders receive 10, 6, and 4 seconds. Unlike last year, bonus points will again be available at critical points such as passes or summits on certain stages. The first three riders receive a premium of 8, 5, and 2 seconds. These bonus sprints are marked with a yellow “B” in the profiles of stages 2, 4, 11, and 17. These bonus points do not count towards the points classification.

What Happens If a Rider Leads in Multiple Classifications?

This often happens after the first stage when the stage winner is also the leader in the overall and points classifications. In this case, the stage winner wears the yellow jersey the next day, and the second in the points classification wears the green jersey. The order of precedence for the jerseys is as follows: Yellow (Overall), Green (Points), Polka-Dot (Mountain), White (Young Rider).

Time Limit: How Many Minutes Behind the Winner Can Riders Finish Without Being Disqualified?

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This varies for each stage, as the stages have different coefficients. The limit is calculated as a percentage of the winner’s time, which can range from 3% (slow flat stage) to 20% (fast mountain stage), depending on the difficulty of the stage and the winner’s average speed. In time trials, the time cut is more generous. However, the jury ultimately decides whether to eliminate riders from the race. In the past, large groups have finished after the time cut and were still allowed to start the next day.

Prize Money: What Do Riders Earn at the Tour de France?

The big money is not made at the Tour de France. A total of €2,573,202 is distributed. Compared to other sports, this is a small amount considering the number of participants and the hardships. The winner usually donates his prize money of €500,000 to teammates and staff. He earns his money through post-Tour criteriums and future contracts. Up to 160th place, riders receive prize money in Paris. While the winner gets half a million euros, riders from 20th to 160th place each receive €1,000.

The winners of the points and mountain classifications each receive €25,000, and the best young rider gets €20,000. The strongest team receives €50,000. The “super combatif” classification for the most aggressive rider of the entire Tour is rewarded with €20,000.

For each stage, prize money is awarded up to 20th place. The stage winner receives €11,000, and the 20th rider in the field still gets €300. Additionally, €2,000 is awarded to the most aggressive rider in the field.

High Mountains: What Is the Souvenir Henri Desgrange?

This is a special prize that riders can secure by being the first to cross the highest pass of the Tour. The Souvenir Henri Desgrange and the associated €5,000 prize go to the rider who first crosses the highest pass, also known as the “Roof of the Tour”. In 2024, this will be on the 19th stage at the 2,802-meter-high Cime de la Bonnette. The prize is named after the founder of the Tour, Henri Desgrange.

How Are Riders Informed About the Time Gaps Between the Leading Group and the Peloton During the Race?

Today, every team uses radio communication to talk among themselves and with the sports directors in the team cars. They receive information via Radio Tour about who is in the lead and the time gaps. Additionally, there is the “Ardosier,” a passenger on a motorcycle who writes the gaps and the numbers of the breakaway riders on a slate board and shows it to the riders at intervals.

Television and Internet: How and Where Can the Tour de France Be Watched Live?

Those who cannot be on-site have many options to stay informed. The Tour de France organizers, ASO, have a live ticker on their website in three languages – German, English, and French. The Tour can be watched live on free TV on Das Erste and Eurosport. Online, the Tour is available on GCN, and Discovery Plus (subscription required).