Team classification in the Tour de France

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.

Team classification
Jersey yellow number.svg
SportRoad bicycle racing
CompetitionTour de France
Awarded forBest team
Local nameClassement d'équipes  (French)
First award1930
Editions85 (as of 2021)
First winnerFrance
Most recentTeam Bahrain Victorious


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; 1920-1922: 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 three best cyclists in the general classification.[3]

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]

Between 1952 and 1990, the team classification leaders could be recognized by yellow caps, until helmets became mandatory.[5][6] Since 2006 the best team has worn black on yellow back numbers.[3][6] Beginning in 2012 the best team was awarded the right, but not the obligation, to wear yellow helmets.[7][8]


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 teammates 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 classificationEdit

Team classification winners[9][10]
Year Team
1930   France
1931   Belgium
1932   Italy
1933   France
1934   France
1935   Belgium
1936   Belgium
1937   France
1938   Belgium
1939   Belgium B[a]
1947   Italy
1948   Belgium A[a]
1949   Italy A[a]
1950   Belgium A[a]
1951   France
1952   Italy
1953   Netherlands
1954   Switzerland
1955   France
1956   Belgium
Year Team
1957   France
1958   Belgium
1959   Belgium
1960   France
1961   France
1962   Saint-Raphaël–Helyett–Hutchinson
1963   Saint-Raphaël–Gitane–R. Geminiani
1964   Pelforth–Sauvage–Lejeune
1965   Kas–Kaskol
1966   Kas–Kaskol
1967   France
1968   Spain
1969   Faema
1970   Salvarani
1971   Bic
1972   Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson
1973   Bic
1974   Kas–Kaskol
1975   Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson
1976   Kas–Campagnolo
Year Team
1977   TI–Raleigh
1978   Miko–Mercier–Vivagel
1979   Renault–Gitane
1980   Miko–Mercier–Vivagel
1981   Peugeot–Esso–Michelin
1982   COOP–Mercier–Mavic
1983   TI–Raleigh–Campagnolo
1984   Renault–Elf
1985   La Vie Claire
1986   La Vie Claire
1987   Système U
1988   PDM–Ultima–Concorde
1989   PDM–Concorde
1990   Z–Tomasso
1991   Banesto
1992   Carrera Jeans–Vagabond
1993   Carrera Jeans–Tassoni
1994   Festina–Lotus
1995   ONCE
1996   Festina–Lotus
Year Team
1997   Team Telekom
1998   Cofidis
1999   Banesto
2000   Kelme–Costa Blanca
2001   Kelme–Costa Blanca
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
Year Team
2017   Team Sky
2018   Movistar Team
2019   Movistar Team
2020   Movistar Team
2021   Team Bahrain Victorious

Team points classificationEdit

Between 1973 and 1989, there was an additional team points classification.[4]

Team points classification winners
Year Team
1973   Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson
1974   Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson
1975   Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson
1976   Gan–Mercier–Hutchinson
1977   Peugeot–Esso–Michelin
1978   TI–Raleigh–McGregor
1979   Renault–Gitane
1980   TI–Raleigh–Creda
Year Team
1981   Peugeot–Esso–Michelin
1982   TI–Raleigh–Campagnolo
1983   TI–Raleigh–Campagnolo
1984   Panasonic–Raleigh
1985   La Vie Claire
1986   Panasonic–Merckx–Agu
1987   Système U
1988   PDM–Ultima–Concorde

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d 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.


  1. ^ "Tour Xtra: General Team Classification".
  2. ^ Official Tour de France history 1930 Archived 2010-07-16 at the Wayback Machine (in French)
  3. ^ a b c d e "Five good reasons to follow the team classification". Amaury Sport Organisation. 28 June 2011. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Tour Xtra: Other Classifications".
  5. ^ van den Akker 2018, p. 148.
  6. ^ a b Nauright & Parrish 2012, p. 455.
  7. ^ "Team Standings: Sky's Yellow Helmet - News stage 1". Archived from the original on 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  8. ^ Decaluwé, Brecht (1 July 2012). "RadioShack-Nissan aims to defend yellow with stage win".
  9. ^ "Past winners". Immediate Media Company. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Tour de France winners, podium, times". BikeRaceInfo. McGann Publishing. Archived from the original on 26 September 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2017.