Mountains classification in the Tour de France
|Competition||Tour de France|
|Given for||Best climber in mountain stages|
|Local name||Maillot à pois rouges (French)|
|First winner||Vicente Trueba (ESP)|
|Most recent||Thomas Voeckler (FRA)|
The Mountains classification in the Tour de France is a secondary classification in the Tour de France, in which cyclists receive points for reaching a mountain top first. The leader of the classification is named the "King of the Mountains", and since 1975 wears the polka dot jersey (French: maillot à pois rouges), a white jersey with red dots.
Since 1905, the organising newspaper l'Auto named one cyclist of the Tour de France the meilleur grimpeur (best climber). In 1933, Vicente Trueba was the winner of this classification. However, Trueba was a very poor descender, so he never gained anything from reaching the tops first. The Tour de France director, Henri Desgrange, decided that cyclists should receive a bonus for reaching the tops first. From 1934 on, the gap between the first and the second cyclist to reach the top was given as a time bonus to the one reaching the top first. These time bonuses were later removed, but the King of the Mountain recognition remained. Although the best climber was first recognised in 1933, the distinctive jersey was not introduced until 1975. The colours were decided by the then sponsor, Poulain Chocolate or Chocolat Poulain, whose chocolate bars were covered in a polka dot wrapper  . Currently the jersey is sponsored by Carrefour supermarkets, which has sponsored the jersey since 1993, initially under the Champion brand, it switched to the main Carrefour brand for the 2009 edition of the Tour. The Tour's jersey colours have also been adopted by other cycling stage races; for example, the Tour of Britain also has a polka dot jersey.
Current situation 
At the top of each climb in the Tour, there are points for the riders who are first over the top. The climbs are divided into categories from 1 (most difficult) to 4 (least difficult) based on their difficulty, measured as a function of their steepness and length. A few of the very hardest climbs were originally given different individual points scales, and were thus listed as "uncategorised" (Hors catégorie, a term that has since passed into the French language to refer to any exceptional phenomenon); however, since the 1980s in fact the hors catégorie climbs have been given a single points scale and effectively became, despite the name, just a top category above category 1. In 2004, the scoring system was changed such that the first rider over a fourth category climb was awarded 3 points while the first to complete a hors catégorie climb would win 20 points. Further points over a fourth category climb are only for the top three places while on a hors catégorie climb the top ten riders are rewarded. Since 2004, points scored on the final climb of the day have been doubled where that climb was at least a second category climb.
Distribution of points 
The points that are gained by consecutive riders reaching a mountain top are distributed according to the following classification:
The points for a mountain top finish are doubled, if that mountain is an HC, 1C or 2C. The organisation of the race determines which mountains are included for the mountains classification and in which category they are.
If two riders have an equal number of points, the rider with the most first places on the hors catégorie cols, is declared winner. If the riders arrived first, an equal number of times, the first places on the 1st category cols are compared. Should the two riders again have an equal number of first arrivals in this category, the organization looks at mutual results in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th category, until a winner is found. If the number of first arrivals in all categories is equal for both riders, the rider with the highest position in the overall list of rankings receives the mountain jersey.
Up until 2011 the points that are gained by climbing the mountains were distributed according to the following classification:
- Hors Catégorie climbs: 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6 and 5 points respectively for the 1st until the 10th rider to climb the mountain
- First category climbs: 15, 13, 11, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5 points respectively for the 1st until the 8th rider to climb the mountain
- Second category climbs: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 and 5 points respectively for the 1st until the 6th rider to climb the mountain
- Third category climbs and hills : 4, 3, 2 and 1 point, respectively for the 1st until the 4th rider to climb the hill
- Fourth category climbs (hills): 3, 2, and 1 point, respectively for the 1st until the 3rd rider to climb the hill.
Criticism of the system 
In recent years, the system has had some criticism. Six-time winner Lucien Van Impe said that the mountain jersey has been devalued, because it goes to cyclists who have no hope to win the general classification so are allowed to escape and gather points in breakaways. This tactic was started by cyclists such as Laurent Jalabert and Richard Virenque, but according to Van Impe, they were really able to climb. Van Impe has proposed to award time bonuses, which may heat up the battle.
Winners of the Mountains classification 
Repeat winners 
|1||Richard Virenque||France||7||1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004|
|2||Federico Bahamontes||Spain||6||1954, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1964|
|Lucien Van Impe||Belgium||6||1971, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1983|
|4||Julio Jiménez||Spain||3||1965, 1966, 1967|
|5||Felicien Vervaecke||Belgium||2||1935, 1937|
|Gino Bartali||Italy||2||1938, 1948|
|Fausto Coppi||Italy||2||1949, 1952|
|Charly Gaul||Luxembourg||2||1955, 1956|
|Imerio Massignan||Italy||2||1960, 1961|
|Eddy Merckx||Belgium||2||1969, 1970|
|Luis Herrera||Colombia||2||1985, 1987|
|Claudio Chiappucci||Italy||2||1991, 1992|
|Laurent Jalabert||France||2||2001, 2002|
|Michael Rasmussen||Denmark||2||2005, 2006|
List of cyclists named meilleurs grimpeurs 
This list shows the cyclists who were chosen meilleur grimpeur by the newspaper l'Auto. Although l'Auto was organising the Tour de France, the meilleur grimpeur title was not given by the tour organisation, so it is unofficial. However, it is a direct predecessor of the later Mountain King title. 
|1905||René Pottier (FRA)|
|1906||René Pottier (FRA)|
|1907||Emile Georget (FRA)|
|1908||Gustave Garrigou (FRA)|
|1909||François Faber (LUX)|
|1910||Octave Lapize (FRA)|
|1911||Paul Duboc (FRA)|
|1912||Odiel Defraeye (BEL)|
|1913||Philippe Thys (BEL)|
|1914||Firmin Lambot (BEL)|
|1919||Honoré Barthélemy (FRA)|
|1920||Firmin Lambot (BEL)|
|1921||Hector Heusghem (BEL)|
|1922||Jean Alavoine (FRA)|
|1923||Henri Pélissier (FRA)|
|1924||Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)|
|1925||Ottavio Bottecchia (ITA)|
|1926||Lucien Buysse (BEL)|
|1927||Giovanni-Michele Gordini (ITA)|
|1928||Victor Fontan (FRA)|
|1929||Victor Fontan (FRA)|
|1930||Benoît Fauré (FRA)|
|1931||Joseph Demuysere (BEL)|
|1932||Vicente Trueba (ESP)|
Winners of the Mountains classification by year 
Winners by Nation 
|Rank||Country||Names Winning Most||Most Recent Winner||Wins|
|1||France||Richard Virenque (7)||Thomas Voeckler 2012||21|
|2||Spain||Federico Bahamontes (6)||Samuel Sánchez 2011||17|
|3||Italy||Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Imerio Massignan and Claudio Chiappucci||Claudio Chiappucci 1992||11|
|4||Belgium||Lucien Van Impe (6)||Lucien Van Impe 1983||11|
|5||Colombia||Luis Herrera (2)||Mauricio Soler 2007||4|
|6||Denmark||Michael Rasmussen (2)||Michael Rasmussen 2006||2|
|Luxembourg||Charly Gaul||Charly Gaul 1956||2|
|Netherlands||Steven Rooks and Gert-Jan Theunisse||Gert-Jan Theunisse 1989||2|
|9||Switzerland||Tony Rominger||Tony Rominger 1993||1|
|United Kingdom||Robert Millar||Robert Millar 1984||1|
- Kohl's results have been removed, after he tested positive and admitted the use of doping, but the classification has not been remade yet. Carlos Sastre was ranked second.
- Pellizotti's results have been removed, after his biological passport indicated irregular values, but the classification has not been remade yet. Egoi Martínez was ranked second.
- Tour - WielerArchieven
- Tour Xtra: Polka Dot Jersey
- "Tour Xtra: Polka Dot Jersey".
- "Regulations of the race". ASA/letour.fr. Retrieved 2009-09-28.
- http://www.letour.fr/le-tour/2012/docs/reglement.pdf ", pg 37 General best climber ranking".
- Atkins, Ben (22 July 2010). "Tour de France: Lucien Van Impe criticises polka dot mountains jersey classification". Velonation. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- Tour - Pagina 3 - WielerArchieven