This is the prize up for grabs when the peloton rolls out of Porto-Vecchio, Corsica, on Saturday June 29.
Le Coq Sportif have unveiled the 2013 maillot jaune, designed to celebrate the 100th edition of the Tour de France.
Only five Britons have worn the yellow jersey: Tom Simpson, Sean Yates, David Millar, Chris Boardman and Bradley Wiggins, who became the first British rider to win the race in 2012. Chris Froome will lead Team Sky at the 2013 edition, hoping to succeed Wiggins as champion.
The design draws its inspiration from the yellow jersey of the 1951 Tour de France, won by Swiss rider Hugo Koblet, with a wide, flat-seamed collar, and also pays tribute to Henri Desgrange, founder of the Tour de France.
The jersey is decorated with the Frenchman’s initials, HD, and a reflective inscription reads: “En 1903, Henri Desgrange créait le plus grand évènement sportif de tous les temps” or “In 1903, Henri Desgrange created the greatest sporting event of all time”.
The 2013 race will see the Tour de France finish at night for the first time, with a grandstand finish on the Champs-Elysees, inspiring Le Coq Sportif to incorporate other reflective details on the jersey. “The maillot jaune and the winner of the 2013 Tour de France will be like a spark in the night,” say Le Coq Sportif.
The jersey also features a translucent ‘Moor’s Head’ imprint on the body of the jersey in recognition of the Grand Depart in Corsica, the first time the Mediterranean island has hosted the Tour.
But, if the jersey honours the race’s history, its design is also a nod to the future, with an anatomical and aerodynamic fit, with transparent silicon bands at the waist and on the sleeves, which ensure the jersey stays in place. The seamless, elastane-mix sleeves extend to just below the triceps, which Le Coq Sportif say avoids pressure points for improved blood flow in the arms.
Otherwise, there’s a mid-length zip and two ventilation panels in the back, which also includes one ultra-breathable 3D mesh panel at the base and and a further micro-aerated mesh panel across the back. Both features are designed to help regulate the rider’s body temperature on hot days in the saddle.
Who will cross the finish line in Paris on Sunday July 21 with the yellow jersey on their back?