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Why Tour leader wears yellow

A brief history of an iconic symbol of the Tour de France - the yellow jersey worn by the race leader

THIS year’s Tour de France hits French shores today, with Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali sporting the leader’s yellow jersey after three successful stages in the UK.

Stage four will take riders from Le Tourquet to Lille.

But do you know why the leader’s jersey - an icon of the Tour de France - is yellow?

It’s all down to sponsorship. Sixteen years after the first Tour, the yellow shirt was born. The colour was chosen because the French sports newspaper that created and organised the event, L’Auto - a forerunner of L’Equipe - was printed on yellow paper.

Similarly, the leading rider in Italy’s most prestigious cycle race, the Giro d’Italia, wears a pink jersey because of the pink pages of La Gazetta dello Sport.

Photo: Robert King

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