Different coloured jerseys? The peleton can look like a rainbow to those not in the know. Here's what all that Technicolor is all about...

What's the yellow jersey?

This one is the most important. It's worn by the leader of the Tour de France and, if he can keep it all the way to the Champs-Elysees in Paris, he receives a boat load of prize money for the privilege of being named the race winner.

Tour organisers hand out a new yellow jersey at the end of every stage so a rider could need a lot of coat-hangers if he stays out in front. It's not unusual, though, for a number of different riders to get their mitts on le maillot jaune, as it's known en Francais, before a race is concluded.

What is the polka-dot jersey?

This rider hasn't gone down with a horrible case of giant measles. The spotty jersey, or polka-dot in cycling parlance, is awarded to the 'King of the Mountains' - the guy who is the best at climbing.

It's decided on a points-scale with scores awarded to the first ten riders to get to the top of the hardest hills. The man leading the classifications at the end of each stage gets to wear the jersey.

What is the green jersey?

Sprinters will go green with envy if they have to watch a rival ride off with this on his back. The green jersey is given to the rider who leads the points classification. This is like the King of the Mountains but it applies to everything - flat stages, medium, high mountains along with time trials.

Points are handed out for high finishes in a stage and for winning intermediate sprints during each day. It is considered a sprinters' competition mainly because they dominate the flat finishes.

What is the white jersey?

Think of this as the young cyclist of the tour award. The white jersey is worn by the rider aged 25 or under who is highest placed in the overall standings.

What is the rainbow jersey?

Yes, there is really is a rainbow jersey.

This isn't an official Tour jersey as such. It is worn by the reigning world champion in a cycling discipline, such as the road race. The victor must wear the jersey when competing in the same discipline for which the title was won.

If the rainbow jersey winner was to lead le Tour, however, the yellow jersey of race leader would take precedence.