On Thursday we saw Tony Martin win his first yellow jersey, having raced in 7 Tour de Frances. Tragically it didn’t last very long as he had to withdraw from the race after a bad crashed shattered his collar bone. Despite being 12 seconds in front of the other race leaders, out of respect, Chris Froome chose not to start in yellow yesterday.
Tradition plays a large and important part of the Tour de France, the wearing of national and world champion jerseys is one them. These are the rainbow striped tops you see on a few riders in each stage.
The World Champions in both road racing and time trials wear their rainbow jerseys whenever they are racing in that particular discipline and training in public. If they are awarded one of the main four jerseys during the race, that jersey takes precedence over the rainbow jersey. All former world champions are allowed to wear the rainbow bands around the collar and cuffs of their team jersey, denoting their status as a former world champion.
National champions are allowed to wear their national jersey throughout the season, however, like the rainbow jersey, it can only be worn in the discipline for which it was won. All former national champions are allowed to wear the national colours on their collars and sleeves for the rest of their career to denote their status as national champion.
Michal Kwiatkowski, who races for Etixx Quick Step is the current world road race champion. You’ll see him racing in the rainbow jersey at the moment.
Whilst not riding in the tour de France this year, Bradley Wiggins is the world road race time trial champion (in fact he has also won the silver medal twice). Fabian Cancellara is the most successful rider in this event having won it four times, and Chris Boardman won the first ever event in 1994
This year there are 9 national road race champions in the tour and 8 time trial champions:
Vincenzo Nibali, racing for Astana, has been the Italian Road Race National Championships for the last 2 years. As you can see his turquoise/blue team strip has The italian flag added to it to show his status
Some of the other jerseys to look out for are Alex Dowsett, who is racing for Movistar, he won the British time trial title for the forth time this year.
Tony Martin, racing for Etixx Quick Step is the German time trial champion
Peter Kennaugh, racing for Team Sky, claimed British National road championship for second year in succession
Alejandro Valverde, racing for Movistar decided not to defend his Spanish time trial title to focus his efforts on the national road race, which luckily he won!
Peter Sagan, who races for Tinkoff-Saxo doubled up and won the National time trial and the National road race victory in Slovakia.
So how many National champions are there in the Tour de France this year?
Time trial champions (8)
Great Britain: Alex Dowsett (Movistar)
Belarus: Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky)
Czech Republic: Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18)
Germany: Tony Martin (Etixx-Quick-Step)
France: Jerome Coppel (IAM Cycling)
Italy: Adriano Malori (Movistar)
Eritrea: Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka)
Slovakia: Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo)
Road race champions (9)
Great Britain: Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky)
Netherlands: Niki Terpstra (Etixx – Quick-Step)
Italy: Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
Spain: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
Russia: Yuri Trofimov (Katusha)
Portugal: Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida)
Norway: Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka)
Denmark: Chris Anker Sorensen (Tinkoff – Saxo)
Slovakia: Peter Sagan (Tinkoff- Saxo)