Yellow The Maillot Jaune is worn by the overall race leader, the rider with the lowest accumulated time for total distance covered. The yellow jersey was first used midway through the 1919 race and first worn by Frenchman Eugene Christophe. It is yellow because L'Auto, the newspaper that originally sponsored the race, was printed on yellow paper.
Red Polka-Dots This jersey is worn by the King of the Mountains, determined by accumulated points on all mountain and hill climbs. Though the best climber was first recognized in the 1933 race, the red polka-dot jersey was not introduced until 1975; Belgium's Lucien Van Impe wore it first. The jersey is colored with red polka-dots because they resemble the wrapper on Poulain Chocolates candy: Poulain sponsors the best cliber award.
Green The sprinters jersey. A rider wins points for the green jersey by placing high in intermediate and final sprints on flat terrain. The jersey was added in 1953 on the Tour's 50th anniversary. It was first worn by Switzerland's Fritz Schaer. The jersey is green because the inaugural sponsor was Belle Jardinier, a department store specializing in gardening supplies.
White The white jersey goes to the best young rider on the Tour, 25 or younger, as defined by his place in the overall general classification. This jersey was introduced in 1975 and worn by Italy's Francesco Moser, but wasn't awarded from 1988 to 2000.