General classification

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The general classification (or the GC) in road bicycle racing is the category that tracks overall times for riders in multi-stage races. Each stage will have a stage winner, but the overall winner in the GC is the rider who has the fastest cumulative time across all stages.[1] Hence, whoever wins the GC is generally regarded as the winner of the race.

Riders who finish in the same group are awarded the same time, with possible subtractions due to time bonuses. Two riders are said to have finished in the same group if the gap between them is less than three seconds. A crash or mechanical incident in the final 3 kilometres of a stage that finishes without a categorised climb usually means that riders thus affected are considered to have finished as part of the group they were with at the 3 km mark, so long as they finish the stage.

It is possible to win the GC without winning a stage. It is also possible to win the GC race without being the GC leader before the last stage.

The most important stages of a bicycle race for GC contenders are mountain stages and individual time trial stages. Both of these offer the best chance for a single racer to outperform other racers.


In many bicycle races, the current leader of the GC gets a special jersey awarded. In the Tour de France, the leader wears a yellow jersey, in the Giro d'Italia a pink jersey, in the Vuelta a España the leader's jersey is red, and in the Tour Down Under the leader's jersey is ochre.

Jerseys of the major stage races[edit]

Race Year Maillot of the general classification Category UCI 2022
France Tour du France 1903 Jersey yellow.svg Yellow First (UCI WordTour)
Belgium Tour of Belgium 1908 Jersey blue.svg Blue Second (UCI ProSeries)
Italy Giro d'Italia 1909 Jersey pink.svg Pink First (UCI WordTour)
Spain Volta a Catalunya 1911 Jersey green lines volta.svg White with horizontal green stripes First (UCI WordTour)
Germany Tour of Germany 1911 Jersey red.svg Red Second (UCI ProSeries)
Spain Vuelta al País Vasco 1924 Jersey yellow.svg Yellow First (UCI WordTour)
Poland Tour de Pologne 1928 Jersey yellow.svg Yellow First (UCI WordTour)
France Paris–Nice 1933 Jersey yellow.svg Yellow First (UCI WordTour)
Switzerland Tour de Suisse 1933 Jersey yellow.svg Yellow First (UCI WordTour)
Spain Vuelta a España 1935 Jersey red.svg Red First (UCI WordTour)
France Critérium du Dauphiné 1947 Jersey yellow-bluebar.svg Yellow with horizontal blue stripe First (UCI WordTour)
Switzerland Tour de Romandie 1947 Jersey green.svg Green First (UCI WordTour)
France 4 jours de Dunquerke 1955 Jersey pink.svg Pink Second (UCI ProSeries)
Italy Tirreno–Adriatico 1966 Jersey blue.svg Blue First (UCI WordTour)
Belgium Tour de Wallonie 1974 Jersey yellow.svg Yellow Second (UCI ProSeries)
Australia Tour Down Under 1999 Jersey orange.svg Orange First (UCI WordTour)
Benelux Tour of Benelux 2005 Jersey blue.svg Blue First (UCI WordTour)


See also[edit]