Yellow Jersey worn by Lance Armstrong in the 2002 Tour de France

First awarded in 1919, the yellow jersey, also known as the maillot jaune, is worn by the race leader of the Tour de France. The origin of the jersey’s yellow color is attributed to either the yellow-colored newsprint of the race’s sponsoring newspaper, L’Auto, or the surplus of unpopular yellow-colored fabric available at short notice.
A three-week long European bicycle race, or “Grand Tour”, the Tour de France is won by totaling the time each rider takes to complete the 20 to 22 individual stages. The rider with the lowest cumulative time at the end of each stage is awarded the yellow jersey and wears it during the next stage. The rider with the best cumulative time after completing all stages is declared the Tour de France winner and awarded the final yellow jersey.
This yellow jersey was worn during the 2002 Tour de France by Lance Armstrong (b. 1971), who, prior to a 2012 investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which resulted in a lifetime ban from competition and the annulment of all competitive results from August 1, 1998 onwards, was, at the time, the second American to win the Tour de France and, prior to the USADA decision, the only rider to ever win the race seven times (1999-2005). Armstrong took the lead in the general classification of the 2002 Tour after a, now-voided win, in Stage 11, a mountain stage that stretched from Pau to La Mongie in the Pyrenees of Southwest France. He also won the Prologue, Stage 12, and Stage 19, holding the lead on the general classification until the final stage in Paris.
Currently not on view
date made
worn during
2002-07-18 to 2002-07-20
Armstrong, Lance
Nike, Inc.
Physical Description
fabric, nylon (overall material)
overall: 27 in x 17 in; 68.58 cm x 43.18 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of the Lance Armstrong Foundation
Drug Testing
related event
Tour de France
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Lance Armstrong
Data Source
National Museum of American History