Tour de France Points Competition Scale Revealed

Monday, 25 May 2015

The rules for the points competition in the 2015 Tour de France have changed. Since the route was unveiled last October there was an announcement to reward the sprint finish specialists. Now the new points scale can be unveiled.

It’s sprinter friendly with lots more points awarded to the winner of a flat sprint stage and fewer points to stage winners on hillier days. An anti-Sagan system?

Each stage has a “coefficient” which is a classification of the type of stage. It is used to determine which scale of points applies and also what the time cut will be on the stage. Here are the cofficient ratings for each stage:

Tour de France Stage coefficients

  • Flat stages / Coefficient 1: 50-30-20-18-16-14-12-10-8-7-6-5-4-3 and 2 points for the first 15 riders to finish
  • Hilly finish-Medium mountain stages / Coefficient 2 and 3: 30-25-22-19-17-15-13-11-9-7-6-5-4-3-2 points for the first 15 riders to finish
  • Mountain Stages / Coefficient 4 and 5: 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points for the first 15 riders to finish.
  • Individual time trial stages / Coefficient 6 : 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points to the first 15 riders to finish
  • Intermediate sprints: 20-17-15-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points respectively for the first 15 riders

What’s new? The points are tilted to the sprint winner with 50-30-20 for the first three on a flat stage compared to 45-35-30 last year. First place means an instant 20 point advantage. The chart below shows the 2015 system for Coefficient 1 stages in green compared to the old scale in grey:

As you can see winning a stage matters a lot more than placing regularly. Also if the sprint or flat stages are rewarded with more points for 2015 then the hillier stages have fewer. Coefficient two stages have 30,25,22 and down.

Peter Sagan green jersey

Those were the days

The Outcome: for years people have labelled the green jersey as the sprinter’s jersey but it’s really been about consistent placing. Now it is for the fastest sprinter and the wearing the jersey should correlate with sprint wins. Speed trumps consistency. It means Peter Sagan’s tactic of placing on sprint stages and then collecting points on the hillier days when the pure sprinters are dropped won’t be so effective. However this doesn’t mean the jersey is reserved for, say, Mark Cavendish, Alexander Kristoff and Marcel Kittel because Sagan’s lead in the contest last year was so big that these changes could simply make the contest closer.

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Al__S May 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

OK then, why have six categories when there’s only 4 points bands (1, 2/3, 4/5 & 6)? Used for KoM variations?

The Inner Ring May 25, 2015 at 3:02 pm

It’s for the time cuts in the mountains.

Augie March May 25, 2015 at 3:23 pm

I know there is a philosophical difference of opinion amongst the readers of this blog as to what the green jersey represents. I for one view it as the sprinter’s jersey in that it should be awarded to the best sprinter in the race, rather than the guy who assiduously scoops up intermediate sprints and consistently places in the top 5 at stage finishes. Therefore I welcome this change.

Toby May 25, 2015 at 3:26 pm

A purely arbitrary and hypothetical exercise I know, but it would be interesting to know how this new system would affect previous years green jersey competitions.

Netserk May 25, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Sagan would have scored 377 points instead of the 431 he got.
Kristoff would have scored 265 points instead of the 282 he got.
Kittel would have scored 238 points instead of the 222 he got.
Coquard would have scored 225 points instead of the 271 he got.

Of course it would have looked a whole lot different if Kittel had sprinted for the intermediate points on all occasions and he had been able to contest more than just four sprints, not to mention that the tighter the competition is the less rope Sagan will get to get in breaks and scoop points.

The Inner Ring May 25, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Very interesting, thanks.

Toby May 26, 2015 at 1:08 am

Brilliant, thank you

Gabriel May 26, 2015 at 10:35 am

I appreciate the effort!

bdh May 29, 2015 at 3:59 am

i was wondering exactly the same thing…thanks

Richard S May 25, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Far too many points for intermediate sprints. I think that should be a separate competition. It would probably be won by a serial breakaway merchant and would be something for smaller teams to aim at.
I am probably on my own in thinking the green jersey points should be equal for every stage.

The Inner Ring May 25, 2015 at 5:26 pm

ASO want to have something to liven up the sprint stages, to have a “second finish line” during the stage otherwise it’s 180km and nothing to watch until the last 10 minutes.

Anonymous May 26, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Which is so different from 180km – something trivial to watch for 2 minutes unless there’s a big break and which most sprinters won’t bother with anyway because there’s a stage to win – and then nothing to watch until the last 10 minutes.

garuda May 26, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Yes you are. I don’t want the points competition jersey as a consolation prize for not having the GC lead such as happens all too often in the Vuelta, and sometimes even the Giro.

Salsiccia May 26, 2015 at 6:22 pm

No he’s not on his own. If you want a sprinter’s competition, have one. But the green jersey should be about the most consistent daily finisher, a reward for the Kellys and (dare I say it) Sagans of the peloton.

Why not have the green jersey for consistent finishing and a red jersey for sprinters, with points awarded to the top 5 on all flat stages and sprint points on each stage? And have that instead of the young rider competition.

Sorry – started writing this before seeing J Evans comment below, but I’m broadly in agreement.

J Evans May 25, 2015 at 4:40 pm

I’d have a separate jersey – if UCI regulations allowed more than four jerseys – for the sprinters.
Traditionally, the green jersey has been for the most consistent finisher and I’d like to see it stay that way. People like Kelly and Zabel won it by being hard and fast – they’d have less chance with this system.
I think there’s a happy medium between making it just for the sprinters and making each stage equal on points – because then it just goes to a GC rider.
They should also change the jersey back to the darker colour that it used to be, rather than this vile green. Same goes for the yellow jersey, which looks ridiculous these days – especially when the rider is bedecked head to foot in yellow.
Harrumph.

Augie March May 25, 2015 at 4:57 pm

At least given the fluro Tinkoff kit the green jersey will be more noticeable this year….

Also that yellow shorts thing is apparently up to the riders, look at both Froome and Wiggins keeping their black Sky knicks. Do the opposite of what Pierre Rolland would do, basically.

J Evans May 25, 2015 at 5:13 pm

I’d make black shorts mandatory when wearing a classification jersey. And the sponsor’s name only in black on the jersey (if at all).

Actually, Lotto-NL’s colour is like the old yellow.

Anonymous May 26, 2015 at 7:43 pm

Would you make the kids get off your lawn as well ? 😉

TourDeUtah May 26, 2015 at 2:42 am

Spot on.

This is why I prefer the Vuelta and the way the Giro used to award points. Equal points per stage rewards the most consistent finisher. Many argue that the sprinters need a competition, isn’t that what a stage win represents ?

Why not have a seperate competition on coefficient 1 and 2 stages that award points to the top ten finishers. I can remember Thor Husholvd getting into breaks to scoop up the intermediate sprint points and get points on the hillier stages to win Green on a couple of occasions.

Many races do not offer points on hilly or TT stages such as this years Tour of Cali. Sagan would have won the points competition as well.

Bert May 26, 2015 at 10:39 am

> Many argue that the sprinters need a competition,
> isn’t that what a stage win represents ?

Could not agree more.

J Evans May 25, 2015 at 4:42 pm

Both the points and the mountains classifications have lost a lot of cache in recent years. It would be nice to see this trend reversed, but I don’t know how you’d do that. An increase in the prize money for them might make a small difference, but more is needed.

Pierre-Jean May 25, 2015 at 4:59 pm

A fat number of UCI points would also help.
I am also of the opinion that intermediate sprints should have their classification, that is where the speed contest belongs.

Jono May 25, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Is this official? I can’t see anything on the TDF website.

The Inner Ring May 25, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Yes, call it a scoop if you like as it’s the first time it’s shared in public. The TDF website is a frustration because normally it should have stage maps by now and even the Dauphiné stages haven’t got route info despite starting in two weeks’ time.

Larry T. May 25, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Could this reduce green jersey wearers holding onto cars in the mountains? That would be good. Otherwise, riders interested in this jersey know what they need to do well in advance so I see no problem with it. It looks more green now too, based on this
http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/racing/tour-de-france/tour-de-france-announces-new-green-jersey-sponsor-163251

Richard S May 25, 2015 at 6:12 pm

I would increase the UCI points for jerseys, as someone has mentioned. I’d also make a rule whereby stage winners don’t get UCI points for their victories if they withdraw from from a race. You want the points you finish.

Vanilla_Thrilla May 26, 2015 at 5:46 am

A bit harsh if someone sticks a camera over the barriers and breaks your arm…

Callum May 25, 2015 at 6:36 pm

What prompted the organisers to give more points to the winner on stage 15 than 13 and make stage 14 the same as stage 13 when:
13-1 third cat 2 fourth cats flat finish and final climb 30 km from finish
14-2 fourth cats 2 second cats with a summit finish (1.5k from summit)on 3 km 10.1 % climb
15- 2 fourth cats 1 third cat 1 second cat flat finish

Pkparker May 25, 2015 at 7:01 pm

Is Michael Matthews riding the tour? From his early season form, looks to me as if he could challenge Sagan for the green jersey

Augie March May 25, 2015 at 7:55 pm

He is down to, hence his leaving the Giro early. OGE might go for green but I think they’ll be prioritising stage wins.

Ronin May 25, 2015 at 9:02 pm

I applaud this change. I want to see the green jersey mark the best sprinter and the best sprinter determined as much as possible by outright wins. I’ve always failed to see why being a “consistent” finisher should be marked with a jersey or recognized at all. Often, the green jersey appears to reward someone who consistently loses.

Anonymous May 26, 2015 at 7:18 am

Because specialized sprinters belong in the track. Road cycling is about versatility and overcoming difficulties.

AK May 25, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Given that the sprinters already get their prizes in the form of stage wins I actually like the idea of a prize for a consistent finisher. It was a bit boring in recent years with Sagan sealing up the competition so early but given some new blood like Matthews, and the form Kristoff displayed in the classics I’m not so sure it would be so easy this year.

Anonymous May 26, 2015 at 1:51 am

Might be interesting to make the green jersey for sprinters, loaded toward sprint finishes with some few intermediate sprints….. and re-tweak the mountains jersey as more of a generalist “points jersey” instead of just for the best climber (who usually wears yellow instead of polka dot anyway) with KOMs and intermediate sprints for it littered throughout the course. Could bring relevance back to both competitions.

Ferdi May 26, 2015 at 7:37 am

I think the Tour de France is making a big mistake in recognizing the “pure sprinter” as a prominent figure in the race, because it means recognizing “pure sprints” as a constant event. But “pure sprints”, as audience numbers show, are the least favourite kind of stage for the spectator. Don’t get me wrong, most people can appreciate a good sprint, but only after other events and selections have taken place. The usual scenario (irrelevant break + positioning + sprint and not much else except perhaps collective crashes) is certainly the worst recipe if you what you want is to retain viewers and make new fans. The consistent rider wins much more interesting stages than the so-called “pure sprinter”.

denominator May 26, 2015 at 9:18 am

At the Tour of California such anti-Sagan politics was applied even in a more strict manner, he did not get any points for the won TT and for the Queen mountain stage (6th), but also zero for the 2nd place at hilly stage 3. This made the undisputed flat-sprinter Cav win the points jersey clearly with four wins and one 3rd. With the TdF system Manxman would win the jersey as well.
You should mention that Sagan’s role as green defender will be complicated also by the fact that at some stages (medium hills, pave) he might have to help Contador, as yellow is a much higher priority.

Callum May 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm

The profile of every stage can be found on http://www.steephill.tv/tour-de-france

MultiplexRant May 27, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Interesting that this hasn’t moved the betting markets much. Sagan still 5/6 at best – very poor value in my view, though he is clearly the favourite. Cav is as long as 7 (which I’ve got a bit of) and Degenkolb an enticing – given Kittel’s ropey season thus far – 20/1.

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