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Jaune in July: 10 incredible Tour de France yellow jersey looks ranked

Counting down some of the best maillot jaune looks in history

Robyn Davidson
12 Jul 2022

Following on from the Giro d’Italia’s maglia rosa ranking, I’m back with another Grand Tour edition of rating some of the best yellow jersey looks throughout the Tour de France’s history. 

After demanding a cup of coffee (a regular day for me) and shouting at some poor overworked fashion intern, I’m ready to channel my inner Miranda Priestly.

Ranking jersey looks part 2: Tour de France edition.

10. Diana Žiliūtė, 1999

Daniel Janin/AFP via Getty Images

A dominating force in women’s cycling, Diana Žiliūtė won the Grande Boucle Féminine Internationale in 1999, a race that has gone through many alterations, formats, name changes and experienced withdrawn support. 

Still, the Lithuanian rode to stage victory on two individual time-trial stages and one mountainous day across the 16-stage event.

Above, she is racing on Stage 14, a 19.8km ITT, which she would win by 21 seconds over teammate Gabriella Pregnolato.

The helmet is certainly an interesting look. The texture at the top makes it look like a white golf ball. Now I can’t unsee it.

9. Geraint Thomas, 2018

Chris Graythen via Getty Images

Ah, the days when Team Sky supported ‘Sky Ocean Rescue’ alongside a campaign to reduce single-use plastics and acknowledge their ‘responsibility to the environment’… before switching to being sponsored by chemical company Ineos.

The black and white kit with a large orca on the back works extremely well when incorporating yellow features into kits, bikes and helmets.

The team above are part of Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France win in 2018.

Note the yellow ‘Sky’ on those not wearing the maillot jaune, yellow collars, gloves, socks, strip on their shorts, helmets and handlebar tape.

Now that’s how you go all out.

8. Julian Alaphilippe, 2019

Jean Catuffe via Getty Images

Some men are just born to wear a Grand Tour jersey. Egan Bernal, Marco Pantani… Julian Alaphilippe.

Here the Frenchman is seen resplendent in yellow before Stage 16 of the 2019 Tour de France.

It’s a minor detail, but I love the yellow lining on the shorts instead of the usual white. The bike could be a bit more decorated, but that’s just me.

7. Fabian Cancellara, 2012

Doug Pensinger via Getty Images

A two-for-one. It’s your lucky day! Who remembers when Peter Sagan rode for Liquigas and would do running celebrations in the points jersey at the 2012 Tour de France?

Enough about green.

Fabian Cancellara is the type of suave man to wear a binbag and make it look cool. Just make sure it’s yellow.

Here after winning the prologue time-trial and before the Stage 2 start, he completes his yellow jersey look with a yellow Trek bike, computer and Oakleys.

6. Bernard Hinault, 1978

Gilbert UZAN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Bonus points for the luft alone, Bernard Hinault has attained an unprecedented cap height seen here after Stage 22 of the 1978 Tour de France – his first of five French Grand Tour victories.

5. Bernard Hinault, again, 1985

AFP via Getty Images

Do you have a washing line of your Tour de France-winning yellow jerseys? Me neither.

But nothing says confidence like Hinault posing during a day off at the 1985 Tour to pose with his winning shirts from 1978, 1979, 1981 and 1981.

Yes – he would go on to win the 1985 edition too. Must have been this picture.

4. Marcel Kittel, 2014

Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images

With his sprinting prowess combined with opening flat stages for the Tour de France, it was a certainty that Marcel Kittel would be seen in yellow during his career.

The legendary German has since retired, but when he was with the Argos-Shimano team in 2013 (I said I would write about them again after #21 in my Extremely Online series), he won the first yellow jerseys of the 2013 and 2014 Tour de France.

3. Marco Pantani, 1998 

Franck Seguin/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Many of you might want to cover your eyes before I reveal that I was not even alive to witness Marco Pantani’s cycling career – but I enjoy looking back on photos on the bandana-clad Italian with fondness.

Here he is on his way to completing the famed Giro/Tour double in 1998.

While I do believe pink was the colour for Pantani, he makes yellow work too.

Jean-Yves Ruszniewski/TempSport/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Let’s not forget the earrings or goatee either. What a character.

2. Jacques Anquetil, 1964

Don Morley via Getty Images

‘Robyn, you’re getting nostalgic,’ I hear you say.

Yes, because I love a retro moment and I know you don’t want an article littered with just Marcel Kittel photos.

Sure this isn’t mid-Tour de France and rather at an event in Herne Hill I believe, but the yellow jersey and knitted retro gloves are a big YES from me.

Jacques Anquetil was in London for exhibition racing before winning the 1964 Tour de France.

1. Greg LeMond, 1990

AFP via Getty Images

The big reveal!

I will hear no disagreement. Greg LeMond won the 1990 Tour de France without a single stage victory, and looked great while doing so.

His Z-Tomasso team – who were also victorious in the team classification – moved on from the black and white of previous sponsor Peugeot (itself an iconic Tour look) with a boldly designed jersey comprised of a pink letter Z on a yellow background.

I think we should bring it back.