THE POLKA DOT JERSEY
Symbol of the mountains, of a rider pushing beyond their limits and of courage, the red polka dot jersey, which is sponsored by Carrefour, is awarded to the Tour de France’s leader of the best climber classification. Although this classification was introduced in 1933, its symbol, the polka dot jersey, appeared in 1975, which was also the year the Tour first finished on the Champs-Élysées and was won by Bernard Thévenet. It owes its appearance to track racing specialist Henri Lemoine, who competed between the 1930s and 1950s, and that Félix Lévitan, co-director of the Tour with Jacques Goddetwhich, had particularly noticed. While Belgium’s Lucien Van Impe was its first winner and claimed the mountains classification six times, just like his illustrious predecessor, Spain’s Federico Bahamontes, the so-called “Eagle of Toledo”, Frenchman Richard Virenque holds the record for victories with seven titles.