Thought of that and checked before the race. How many times has it happened? I know Hinault won in yellow one year (82?) It feels like not many times, what with the green usually belonging to someone who picks up at least some points on some harder stages, and some other sprinter just being that little bit fresher into Paris.
It's not a novel idea, I'm sure it's mentioned now and again.
But I don't think there would be any prestige in that. For a young rider the white jersey is only a consolation prize anyway also, but at least it's nice to showcase who's maybe next in line in the following years, but anyone capable of being "best young rider" wants to win the yellow jersey.
And I think it would be the same with the grey jersey. I would assume a rider like Valverde would think "ok, yes, I'm old, but I still want to *** win the race, not get a fake prize for being old".
It doesn’t seem to have happened in the 80s. As I said, nearest equivalent was Hinault winning in yellow in 1982.
It technically happened in 1979, when Hinault won while leading the points competition, except he also won the GC that year so would have been wearing yellow at the time. Also, he appears to have been in a 2-up break with Zoetemelk (also 2nd on gc), 2 minutes ahead of the main field.
I first see a jersey colour and a position in a race. Then I see the shape and style of the rider. And then, if I look very closely, I see anything else. Somehow I seriously overlook the helmets every time.
Nibali: "Congratulations my teammate. You are one of us now."
Porte: "Thank-you grand tour master. Can I keep this trophy in your cabinet? I never thought I'd need one."
Nibali: "No my son. My cabinet is full."
Porte: "Oh, I thought it might look nice. You know, alongside your 2012 equivalent."
Nibali: "That isn't in my cabinet. That isn't good."
Porte: "The third place isn't good?"
Nibali: "It can be. When you stand alongside some Slovenians, after having ridden over some actual mountains, it is a nice story."
Porte: "You didn't like the 2012 Tour?"
Nibali: "I'll tell you how much I liked the 2012 Tour. That trophy could just fit into my cabinet, but I keep something else in its place."
Porte: "Something from another race? From a race that you recall more fondly?"
Nibali: "Yes. It is a sticky bottle."