List of Australians Who Have Led The Tour De France General Classification

List Of Australians Who Have Led The Tour De France General Classification

Since the establishment of the competition in 1903, five Australians have led the general classification in the Tour de France at the end of a stage during one of the 97 Tours de France. One of the three Grand Tours of professional stage cycling, the Tour de France is the most famous road cycling event in the world, and is held annually in the month of July. Although all riders compete together, the winners of the Tour are divided into classifications, each best known by the coloured jersey that is worn by the leader of it; the general classification (GC), represented by the maillot jaune (yellow jersey), is for the overall leader in terms of the lowest time. The other individual classifications in the Tour de France are the points classification, also known as the sprinters' classification (green jersey), the mountains classification (polka dot jersey), and the young rider classification (white jersey).

In the 97 editions of the Tour de France to 2009, only five Australian riders have worn the maillot jaune. The first was Phil Anderson, who in 1981 became the first ever non-European to lead the general classification at the Tour de France when he wore the yellow jersey on Stage 7 on 1 July. Of the five Australians to wear it to date, only two are considered to be "general classification riders" (that is, riders who are aiming to win the GC, as opposed to competing in another classification or riding as a domestique): Anderson in 1981 and 1982 and Cadel Evans in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Stuart O'Grady and Robbie McEwen are sprint specialists, and were successful in the points classification competition in the years when they also wore the yellow jersey; as a result of winning stages early in the race, they received time bonuses which gave them the leadership of the GC for a small number of days early in the Tour. Brad McGee, the other Australian to have led the general classification, was the reigning world champion in the 4000 m individual pursuit when he won the opening prologue time trial, which was similar in length, in 2003.

The five Australians have spent a total of 28 stages in the maillot jaune out of the 2,099 total (1.334%) in the 98 editions of the Tour de France, as at the end of Stage 20 of the 2011 Tour.

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List Of Australians Who Have Led The Tour De France General Classification - Notes
... ^ Finished first in the young rider classification at the completion of the Tour ... a b Finished second in the points classification at the completion of the Tour ... is not considered to be a numbered stage of the Tour de France, and is followed the next day by Stage "1" therefore, the prologue is occasionally also designated as Stage "0" ...

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