Started in 1953, the points classification system is a secondary competition in the prestigious Tour de France.
Dubbed as one of the most exciting awards that is given away in the race, the points classification is all about the winning sprinting actions that takes place in the race. To put it short, this is a sprinters’ competition.
The best sprinter will be awarded a Green jersey should he collect the most points and win the award. Speaking of the other Grand Tours, both the Vuelta a Espana and the Giro d’Italia has adopted the same points classification system in 1955 and 1966 respectively.
History of the Points Classification System
The points classification was introduced in 1953 as an additional classification within the Grand Tours.
When this system was first introduced, racers received penalty points for not finishing with a high ranking, hence cyclists with the most points won the jersey. From then on, the system was changed in such a way that positive points were rewarded instead of penalizing riders.
Known mainly as the Sprinters’ Award, cyclists will have to demonstrate all rounded skills on top of having extraordinary sprinting capabilities.
This is because the racer is still required to finish inside the time limit on top of being able to compete in the intermediate sprints and most importantly the “flat” stage finish sprint.
Understanding The Current Points System
The points classification is determined by summing up all the points that a rider has collected net of penalty points. Points are rewarded when racers cross checkpoints and also given to a few of the fastest cyclists.
The type of finish and the respective points won for each type are as follows:
|“Flat” Stage Finish||50||30||20||18||16||14||12||10||8||7||6||5||4||3||2|
|“Hilly Finish, medium||30||25||22||19||17||15||13||11||9||7||6||5||4||3||2|
|“High Mountain” Stage Finish||20||17||15||13||11||10||9||8||7||6||5||4||3||2||1|
|Individual Time Trial||20||17||15||13||11||10||9||8||7||6||5||4||3||2||1|
Recent Winners of the Points Classification
- 2017: Michael Matthews (AUS) – 370 Points
- 2016: Peter Sagan (SVK) – 470 Points
- 2015: Peter Sagan (SVK) – 432 Points
- 2014: Peter Sagan (SVK) – 431 Points
- 2013: Peter Sagan (SVK) – 409 Points
- 2012: Peter Sagan (SVK) – 421 Points
- 2011: Peter Sagan (SVK) – 334 Points
Top Repeat Winners of the Points Classification
- Erik Zabel (GER) – 6 times in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001
- Peter Sagan (SVK) – 5 times in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016
- Sean Kelly (IRL) – 4 times in 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1989
Country wise, Belgium leads all other countries by having won this award a staggering 19 times, followed by France with 9 wins and Germany with 8 wins.