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Green jersey rules for the 2012 Tour de France
Jul 2nd, 11. Are you up to date with the rules of the Tour de France green jersey competition for 2012?
The green jersey competition, or Points Classification, had an overhaul for last year's lap of France.
This new points system, and some great racing, helped Mark Cavendish earn his first green jersey but it was a battle right until the Champs Elysees finsh.
For 2012, the same rules apply.
- one interim sprint, in the first half of the each stage
- interim sprint points start at 20 and decrease to 1 point for 15th place (see below)
- stage finish points differ depending on the type of stage.
Interim sprint points down to 15th place
In years prior to 2011, road stages included at least two interim sprints. Only the top three riders over the line collected the 6,4 or 2 points on offer, depending on their position. This, in conjunction with higher points for stage wins, determined who wore the green jersey.
Under these old rules, breakaway riders often stole all the interim sprint points making them all but useless for the true green jersey contenders.
Now, with interim points awarded down to 15th place, even if a small group of breakaway riders are out front, it is still worthwhile for the sprint teams to line up their sprinters to earn mid-stage sprint point - at they did in Stage 1 of this year's Tour where lead out trains battled for the placings from 7th down.
Finish line points variable
Finish line points are awarded on all stages, whether a sprinter is expected to win or not.
Even on a day in the high mountains, the stage winner earns points towards the green jersey, but not as many as on a flat stage.
In fact, an interim sprint win earns just as many points as a high mountain victory.
Cut off times
One other rule affected the green jersey competition in 2011 and with some tough new climbs in this year's edition, it may have an effect again.
In 2011 on Stage 19 atop the Col du Galibier, the green jersey leader, and many others, finished outside the time cut.
Fortunately for Cavendish, the rules allow organisers to ignore a time cut if more than 20% of the riders finish out of time.
While Cavendish was allowed to continue the Tour he, and everyone else in the groupetto, had 20 points cut from their total. It cut his points lead margin from 35 to 15 as his nearest rival Joaquim Rodriguez finished inside the time cut. Fortunately for Cavendish, his win on the Champs Elysees gave him enough points to stand proud in green on the Paris podium.
Last year the green points jersey was contested down to the very last day, will it in 2012? Or will the top sprinters opt out early in the Tour de France to save their legs for the Olympic road race in London, just one week after the Tour ends. In order to win the green jersey, riders must finish the Tour de France.
2012 Green jersey points allocation
How a tie is determined
Stage dead heat - in the event of a dead heat in a stage finish, the riders are credited with the number of points they would receive, divided by the number of riders concerned. These points are then rounded up to the nearest 1⁄2 point.
Final tie - In the event of a tie in the general ranking, the number of stage victories are added up for each rider, followed by the number of intermediate- sprint victories; if there is still no clear winner, the individual time ranking is used.
Previous Points Classification winners
Information sourced from the Tour de France Rules and Regulations, 2012.
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