Polka Dot

The world’s most prestigious cycling race is fast approaching. We are helping our readers gear up for the race with a A-Z guide to the Tour de France. In this edition, we look into the Polka Dot jersey, or the King of the Mountains jersey.

In French, the jersey is called the maillot à pois rouges. On each day of the three-week long race, you’ll find a rider wearing a special jersey that is white with red spots. This rider would have earned the jersey by reaching the top of the mountain the fastest.

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Tour de France Polka Dot Jersey Predictions and Odds

Now that we all understand how the Polka Dot Jersey is won and how points are awarded in this category, let’s see who has the highest chance of winning this jersey this year in the Tour de France.

Without saying, riders who are specialist climbers will naturally have better odds in winning this Jersey. That said, few names come into mind.

The following is the list of the top 10 cyclists who have high chances of winning this jersey. To make your life easier, we have also compiled the best betting odds for all the mentioned cyclists.

Warren Barguil: 7/2 – Betstars

Mikel Landa: 5 – Ladbrokes

Thomas De Gendt: 12 – Ladbrokes

Rafal Majka: 14 – Bet365

Adam Yates: 16 – Bet365

Nairo Quintana: 16 – Ladbrokes

Daniel Navarro: 25 – William Hill

Omar Fraile: 25 – SkyBet

Pierre Rolland: 25 – Betfair

David Gaudu: 28 – Bet365

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Who Will Become The King Of The Mountains?

The King of the Mountain is the rider who has collected the most points in the hill-climbing sections of each stage. Points are awarded to the first rider to reach the top of designated hills and mountains. The number of points depends on the grade of the mountain.

The steeper the mountain, the more points are given. Difficulty is also judged by the length of the climb and the position of climb in the course.

For example, the most difficult mountains — denoted HC or ‘Hors Categorie’ — awards points to the top 10 riders who make it over the summit. Meanwhile, a fourth-category climb (least difficult) only gives points to the top three riders.

The organizers will decide which mountains are included in the competition and what grade each mountain falls into. If the stage features a summit finish, the points for the climb are doubled.

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History Of The King Of The Mountains And The Polka Dot Jersey

The King of the Mountains competition was introduced in 1933. Spain’s Vicente Trueba bagged the first edition of the prize. However, it wasn’t until 1975 that the polka dot jersey is introduced.

Notable Polka Dot Jersey / King Of The Mountain Winners

Richard Virenque has won the jersey seven times, more than any other cyclist. Virenque is a retired French professional cyclist and one of the most popular French riders. Virenque finished third in the Tour de France in 1996 and second in 1997.

Before Virenque, there was Belgian, Lucien Van Impe. Van Impe held the earlier record of six King of the Mountain jerseys. So formidable were his hill climbs that he once launched an attack that left 43 of the other 95 riders outside the stage time limit, forcing officials to bend the rules to let them back in.

Avid fans would also remember Luis (Lucho) Herrera). Hererra was one of the first prominent Columbian to race in the Tour. He won the King of the Mountain title twice in 1985 and 1987. He is less formidable on flatter roads, but his climbing abilities inspired an entire generation of cyclists from his country.

Herrera was kidnapped in his home country after retirement, but given his fame and hence, size of the manhunt, his captors let him go pretty quickly.