Tour de France - miscellaneous rules and facts
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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tour de France - miscellaneous rules and facts

by Agence France-Presse at 6:41 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
 

Miscellaneous rules and facts ahead of
the 95th edition of the Tour de France, which takes place July 5-27:
   
Time out
The time bonuses which can usually be picked up by the first few stage
finishers have been scrapped altogether this year. It means that racing ahead
of rivals, in a bid to grapple a few extra seconds on rivals, at the end of
stages will be a useless exercise. In essence, the winner of this year's race
will win the yellow jersey on time alone.
   
Close encounters
In the event two riders tie for first place in the race for the yellow
jersey, their times in the race's two individual time trials would prove
crucial. In such an event the fractions of seconds from the individual time
trials - which are usually rounded up to the nearest second - are employed by
race officials and added to the riders' overall time to separate them.
   
A few pointers
The race for the points competition's green jersey is usually between the
sprinters on the flat stages, where most points can be won at the finish line.
On flat stages, the first 25 finishers pick up points, beginning with 35 for
the winner, 30 for the second, 26 for the third and so on. Intermediate
sprints, which can be found on the majority of stages, also reward points but
are less enticing, with six, four and two available to the first three over
the line.
   
Train delays
When it comes to level crossings, the peloton is given no special
treatment. Any riders who ride over a level crossing when it is closed will be
disqualified from the race. The closure of level crossings is considered by
officials as a 'race incident'.
   
Seeing red
The red flag which hovers over the finale of all stages on the race signals
the final kilometre. Cyclists who crash, suffer a mechanical or puncture
inside the final three kilometres of the race - and such an incident is
accepted by officials - are awarded the same time as the rider or group they
were with at the time of the incident. However, a rider who falls and cannot
make it over the finish line is relegated to last place in the stage ranking.
   
Seeing spots
The 'King of the Mountains' polka dot jersey is the prize most coveted by
the specialist climbers in the race. Points can be won on all Cols (passes)
and hills, with most points awarded on the most difficult, 'unclassified'
climbs found in the Alps and Pyrenees. The winner picks up 20 points, the
second 18 and so on for the first 10 finishers. On 'category one' climbs, the
winner picks up 15 points, the second 13 and so on for the first eight
finishers. On category two, the winner picks up 10 points, the second nine and
so on for the first six finishers. The minor points are awarded from the
easier category three and four climbs.
   
Rich rewards
As well as racing for prestige in the world's biggest race, riders pick up
financial rewards for their efforts. Tour organisers have allocated a total of
472,500 euros for stage wins this year, with 22,500 awarded daily. Stage
winners receive 8000 euros, the second place finisher 4000 and so on down to
the 20th placed rider - who gets a paltry 200 euros. Winning the yellow jersey
however is worth 450,000 euros, although tradition dictates that most of that
prize is shared out to the winner's team-mates to reward them for their
efforts.

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