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Tour de France 2011: New scoring system for mountains/points jersey

Organizers try to get final jerseys on bigger contenders/better sprinters

ASO, the organization that runs the Tour de France, has made a few changes to how riders score in the King of Mountains and points competitions for this year’s edition. The changes address some of the concerns the organization and fans have had about the winners of the polka dot and green jerseys over the last few years.

First, Tour organizers wanted to ensure that the winner of the King of the Mountains was more of an all-around GC contender. The polka dot jersey has also been tainted over the last three years, as 2008 and 2009 winners Bernhard Kohl and Franco Pellizotti respectively were stripped of their Tour results for doping. Though Kohl was third in 2008, Pellizotti was 37th in the final general classification. Last year’s winner Anthony Charteau was 44th.

Previously, any HC, 1st Cat and 2nd Cat climb awarded double points if it was the last of the day. Now only the summit stage finishes will award double points, namely Stages 12, 14, 18 and 19. Previously, the first ten riders across an HC, first eight over a 1st Cat, first six over a 2nd Cat and first four over a 3rd Cat scored points. Now the first six over every climb except a 4th receive points. For 4th Cat climbs only the first man scores.

The green jersey’s changes I call the Cav Rules. The points jersey hasn’t gone to the best sprinter, namely the Manx Missile, over the past couple of editions, but to more of an opportunist like Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Petacchi. Therefore, the points will be based on daily stage placing and one heavily rewarded intermediate sprint instead of three. Now all Mark Cavendish has to do is haul himself over all those pesky mountains . . .