The Young Rider Classification is a secondary competition in the Tour de France. It is also called the race for the white jersey or the maillot blanc.
First handed out in 1975, the white jersey is awarded to the race’s top young rider. Past notable winners of the Young Rider Classification at the Tour de France include Laurent FIgnon (1983 ), Greg LeMond ( 1984 ), Jan Ulrich ( 1996-98 ), Alberto Contador ( 2007 ), and Thibaut Pinot ( 2014 ).
In the past, any rider under the age of 26 years old would qualify to win the white jersey. However, current rules stipulate that a rider must be born after January 1, 1994, to be eligible to win the Young Rider Classification so that means anyone under 25 or who turned 25 this year.
Last year, it was Frenchman Pierre Latour who won the Young Rider Classification after finishing 13th in the General Classification of the 2018 Tour de France. Prior to Latour, brothers Adam Yates and Simon Yates won in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Adam finished 4th in the General Classification during his win while Simon was 7th in the GC when he won the white jersey.
When it comes to winning both the General Classification and the Young Rider Classification, only four cyclists have been able to achieve that feat. These were Fignon in 1983, Ullrich in 1997, Contador in 2007 and Andy Schleck in 2010. The reason we brought that up is that one of the favorites to win the General Classification at the 2019 Tour de France is also the favorite to win the Young Rider Classification in the race.
That rider is none other than Colombia’s Egan Bernal who rides for the British Team Ineos. The 22-year old is the second youngest rider in the 106th edition of the Tour de France and is one of the favorites to win the race following the injury suffered by team leader Chris Froome and the struggles of defending champion Geraint Thomas who is also his teammate. Bernal has been installed as a big favorite to take home the white jersey this year.
Check out the odds to win the Young Rider Classification at the 2019 Tour de France. These odds were taken from TitanBet as of 7/10/19:
|Enric Mas Nicolau||+300|
|Laurens De Plus||+8000|
|Wout Van Aert||+15000|
|Odd Christian Elking||+35000|
|Soren Kragh Andersen||+35000|
Who Are The Favorites?
Egan Bernal is the clear cycling betting favorite to win the Young Rider Classification at the 2019 Tour De France. And why not, Bernal is even among the top betting favorites to win the yellow jersey at this year’s tour.
The 22-year old finished 15th in his Tour de France debut last year and he delivered while riding in the services of Chris Froome and current Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas. But with Froome out and Thomas’ form questionable, Bernal may be in a position to deliver Columbia its first Tour victory. After impressive victories at the Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse, Bernal’s form is at a high heading to France. But while winning it all may be too premature to pick right now, taking home the white jersey is a very probable outcome.
Enric Mas may be the heir to Alberto Contador as Spain’s cycling superstar. Third at the Vuelta last September, Mas is a legitimate threat to Bernal and may be the only realistic one right now. Bernal rode clear of Mas in the Swiss last month but given that the 24-year old Spaniard won’t have to look after a leader the way Bernal could for Thomas, Mas could ride on his own and take a stage or two while moving up silently in the standings.
Tiesj Benoot is known as a classics rider but he finished fourth in the Tour de Suisse and was the second-best young rider in Switzerland as well as at the Tirreno-Adriatico earlier in the year. The 25-year old Belgian finished 20th in his maiden Tour de France appearance in 2017 but was never able to get going last year. He looks to bounce back this year but his main problem is that the man who beat him in Switzerland is the favorite to take the white jersey in this race.
David Gaudu finished 34th in his maiden ride at the 2018 Tour de France. He was fifth and won the Young Rider Classification in the Tour of Romandie earlier this season but was patchy in Dauphine. However, with Thibaut Pinot being tipped as one of the favorites to win this year, Gaudu may spend his 2019 Tour de France providing support to his more heralded teammate. I don’t think Gaudu is a match for Bernal anyway but if something happens to the latter, Gaudu may be a good alternative.
Max Schachmann finished tenth in the Tour of California and Itzulia Basque Country. He also had an impressive campaign at the Ardennes and was third in La Doyenne. At 25, he barely makes the Young Rider Classification by nine days. The German has plenty of potentials and is a consistent rider but when it comes to winning the white jersey, I think he’s a far cry from either Egan Bernal or Enric Mas.
Guilio Ciccone won the Mountains Classification and Stage 16 of the 2019 Giro d’Italia and given how he rode that race, he’s got to be among the favorites to win the Young Rider Classification in France. He may have a less free role in his first Tour de France with leaders Ritchie Porte and Bauke Mollema in play for the General Classification.
With Chris Froome out and Thomas being the defending champion, the latter might have expected to inherit sole leadership at Team Ineos. But the seconds that Thomas lost to Bernal in Stage 3 of the 2019 Tour de France at Epernay are a good indicator of the Colombian rider’s current splendid form.
At some point in the race, I think the roads will formalize the hierarchy at Ineos. That would probably happen at high altitude, as it did for Thomas last year, who was elevated from being Froome’s second following back to back win in the Alps. That, we’ll have to see. But when it comes to winning the Young Rider Classification, I think there is no doubt that Egan Bernal is taking it. Prediction: Egan Bernal