Tour de France Climber’s Classification Winners, 1933 to Present

By : Mr Mamil
Updated :

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The Tour de France Climber’s classification is a secondary competition after the General Classification, similar to the Points Classification and Young Rider Classification. The Climber’s classification has been around since 1933 but it wasn’t until 1975 that the leader wears the polka dot jersey.

It’s widely referred to as the King of Mountain, Polka Dot jersey (maillot à pois rouges), or Mountains Classification.

Points are awarded for up to the first eight riders who were first on top of each categorized climb. The climbs in the Tour de France are categorized depending on their gradient and length.

It starts from Category 4 (least steep) to Category 3, Category 2, Category 1, and Hors Catégorie. It’s up to the organizers to determine the category. Hors Catégorie climbs have more points on offer and sometimes there are double points offered such as in stage 17 at Méribel Col de la Loze in 2020.

The rider with the most cumulative points will wear the polka dot jersey from Stage 2 to 21.

Multiple Tour de France Climber’s Classification winners

Since its inception in 1933, there are 16 riders won the Climber’s classification more than once. The last rider who won twice was Tadej Pogačar in 2021 where he also won the General Classification and Young Rider classification.

Although the Tour de France features many mountainous terrains, the rider who wins the General Classification doesn’t often win the Climber’s classification. This often boils down to the race tactics and the strength of the riders and teams.

More reading : Tour de France Team Classification Winners

For example, in recent years, the General Classification contenders are happy to allow riders to go in the breakaway to collect the Climber’s classification points while they battle out among themselves on the last climbs.

There are only 12 years where the same rider won both the Climber and General Classification.

  • Tadej Pogačar (2020, 2021)
  • Chris Froome (2015)
  • Carlos Sastre (2008)
  • Eddy Merckx (1969)
  • Federico Bahamontes (1959)
  • Fausto Coppi (1949, 1952)
  • Sylvère Maes (1939)
  • Gino Bartali (1938, 1948)
WinnerNationalityWinsYear
Richard VirenqueFrance71994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004
Federico BahamontesSpain61954, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1964
Lucien Van ImpeBelgium61971, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1983
Julio JiménezSpain31965, 1966, 1967
Félicien VervaeckeBelgium21935, 1937
Gino BartaliItaly21938, 1948
Fausto CoppiItaly21949, 1952
Charly GaulLuxembourg21955, 1956
Imerio MassignanItaly21960, 1961
Eddy MerckxBelgium21969, 1970
Luis HerreraColombia21985, 1987
Claudio ChiappucciItaly21991, 1992
Laurent JalabertFrance22001, 2002
Michael RasmussenDenmark22005, 2006
Rafał MajkaPoland22014, 2016
Tadej PogačarSlovenia22020, 2021

Most Tour de France Climber’s Classification wins by nationality

French riders are the most successful in the Climber’s Classification with 23 wins with 16 different riders. The last win was by Romain Bardet in 2019.

Only 12 nationalities have won the Climber’s Classification in 82 editions. With the exception of Switzerland, all other nationalities have won at least once.

WinsCountryLast winnerYear
23FranceRomain Bardet2019
18SpainSamuel Sánchez2011
12ItalyClaudio Chiappucci1992
11BelgiumLucien Van Impe1983
5ColombiaNairo Quintana2013
2United KingdomChris Froome2015
2DenmarkMichael Rasmussen2006
2LuxembourgCharly Gaul1956
2NetherlandsGert-Jan Theunisse1989
2PolandRafał Majka2016
2SloveniaTadej Pogačar2021
1SwitzerlandTony Rominger1993

List Tour de France Climber’s Classification winners, 1933 to present

YearWinnerNationality
1933Vicente TruebaSpain
1934René ViettoFrance
1935Félicien VervaeckeBelgium
1936Julián BerrenderoSpain
1937Félicien VervaeckeBelgium
1938Gino BartaliItaly
1939Sylvère MaesBelgium
1947Pierre BrambillaItaly
1948Gino BartaliItaly
1949Fausto CoppiItaly
1950Louison BobetFrance
1951Raphaël GéminianiFrance
1952Fausto CoppiItaly
1953Jesús LoroñoSpain
1954Federico BahamontesSpain
1955Charly GaulLuxembourg
1956Charly GaulLuxembourg
1957Gastone NenciniItaly
1958Federico BahamontesSpain
1959Federico BahamontesSpain
1960Imerio MassignanItaly
1961Imerio MassignanItaly
1962Federico BahamontesSpain
1963Federico BahamontesSpain
1964Federico BahamontesSpain
1965Julio JiménezSpain
1966Julio JiménezSpain
1967Julio JiménezSpain
1968Aurelio González PuenteSpain
1969Eddy MerckxBelgium
1970Eddy MerckxBelgium
1971Lucien Van ImpeBelgium
1972Lucien Van ImpeBelgium
1973Pedro TorresSpain
1974Domingo PerurenaSpain
1975Lucien Van ImpeBelgium
1976Giancarlo BelliniItaly
1977Lucien Van ImpeBelgium
1978Mariano MartínezFrance
1979Giovanni BattaglinItaly
1980Raymond MartinFrance
1981Lucien Van ImpeBelgium
1982Bernard ValletFrance
1983Lucien Van ImpeBelgium
1984Robert MillarUnited Kingdom
1985Luis HerreraColombia
1986Bernard HinaultFrance
1987Luis HerreraColombia
1988Steven RooksNetherlands
1989Gert-Jan TheunisseNetherlands
1990Thierry ClaveyrolatFrance
1991Claudio ChiappucciItaly
1992Claudio ChiappucciItaly
1993Tony RomingerSwitzerland
1994Richard VirenqueFrance
1995Richard VirenqueFrance
1996Richard VirenqueFrance
1997Richard VirenqueFrance
1998Christophe RineroFrance
1999Richard VirenqueFrance
2000Santiago BoteroColombia
2001Laurent JalabertFrance
2002Laurent JalabertFrance
2003Richard VirenqueFrance
2004Richard VirenqueFrance
2005Michael RasmussenDenmark
2006Michael RasmussenDenmark
2007Mauricio SolerColombia
2008Carlos SastreSpain
2009Egoi MartínezSpain
2010Anthony CharteauFrance
2011Samuel SánchezSpain
2012Thomas VoecklerFrance
2013Nairo QuintanaColombia
2014Rafał MajkaPoland
2015Chris FroomeUnited Kingdom
2016Rafał MajkaPoland
2017Warren BarguilFrance
2018Julian AlaphilippeFrance
2019Romain BardetFrance
2020Tadej PogačarSlovenia
2021Tadej PogačarSlovenia