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How much do pro cyclists make?(17 posts)

How much do pro cyclists make?AllisonHayes
Jul 15, 2002 12:06 PM
The New Yorker states a journeyman cyclist can make a $100k a year while Lance made $15 million last year.

In the TDF, how many earn a "journeymans" wage? How much do you think the top 5 riders in the TDF make? What do you think is the average wage?
lance's salary was 5mil...ColnagoFE
Jul 15, 2002 12:08 PM
supposedly this is pretty high...some say 5x as high as the next highest paid pro cyclist. the rest comes from sponsorships. i imagine the rest of the posties make nowhere near a million, but maybe some come close.
Read somewhere that Ulrich makes a bit more than 2 mmelviento
Jul 15, 2002 6:41 PM
a hell-of-a-lot more than me nmPhatMatt
Jul 15, 2002 12:11 PM
I'll be a domestique for minimum wageishmael
Jul 15, 2002 12:20 PM
I heard Jan Ulrich makes 4mil, or I sould say, made 4mil... There are a couple different levels of pro with the Tour de France people being in the top tier, I'm sure there are some much cheaper riders out there.
depends on how much they winmr_spin
Jul 15, 2002 12:23 PM
Most of the pros are probably making no more than $30-40K in salary. But on a successful team, winnings (which are always shared) can add up to a nice little bonus. Last year, the Mercury riders survived on winnings since they weren't getting paid. It's a good incentive to win! Winning the tour adds about $400K to the winnings pool, plus whatever Lance throws in ($250K last year).

Of course, top riders get more. Few make more than a million. Lance does, Ullrich does, Heras does. Probably Zabel, too.

Of course, if you are a Kelme rider, you may not get paid at all.
Which pros? Tour winners or Div III riders?Wannabe
Jul 15, 2002 12:24 PM
From what little I know, pro riders make very, very little. There are exceptions of course, and then there's Lance, who you can't really take into consideration with your question.

The New Yorker statement seems WAY, WAY high to me. I thought that the average (european) salary was more on the lines of $18,000 or so. Maybe that's still a little high.

Not be be cynical or anything, but you can understand why drug use could be a problem in the peloton. If it allows a rider on a Div II or III squad to get his first pro win and get noticed...

drug use & salaryAllisonHayes
Jul 15, 2002 12:49 PM
Good point! The lure of big bucks would put a lot of pressure on these guys.

i Kind of like a CEO who cooks the books because he wants to exercise his $20 million in stock options.
Teacher's pay.husker
Jul 15, 2002 12:27 PM
I read earlier this year that they have to pay pro riders a min. wage. I believe that it was around $18,000 per year. Only the top riders make the big dollars. There are a lot of riders who make less than teachers in the United States. Now thats poor.
Most make very littleBipedZed
Jul 15, 2002 12:46 PM
From CyclingNews Oct 25, 2001:

Minimum Salary For The Pros
"The representatives of professional cyclists and the teams have unanimously voted on October 13, to set a minimum salary floor for professional cyclists. In a meeting in Lisbon, the representatives decided to set the salary to 15,000 euros (US$13,365) for neo pros and 18,000 euros (US$16,038) for other riders."

Only a handful of top European pro cyclists earn anywhere close to $1 million US annually. These are usually Grand Tour winners, World Champions, World Cup Classics winners, etc. The majority make a small salary and rely on bonuses from results and prize money. In the US it's even worse as many neo pros on domestic teams aren't even getting paid salary, just race fees, transportation, and equipment.
still, i'd think that most of them good enoughrufus
Jul 15, 2002 12:54 PM
to make a tour team or race the classics would be earning at least $40-50,000. remember, there are tons of small professional races all over europe that we never hear about that are raced by pros who aren't at the level of these guys we see racing paris-roubaix or the tour de france.
But the questions was...Wannabe
Jul 15, 2002 1:04 PM
what does the average pro make, not what does the average tour rider or classics rider make...

You really, really have to love your bike to ride as a pro.

My impression is that even most grand tour ridersdjg
Jul 15, 2002 1:34 PM
just don't make all that much money. Cycle Sport had a run down on annual team budgets for Div. 1 teams earlier this year; many of them were surprisingly small. I don't know how they do their accounting, but there didn't seem all that much to go around after accounting for big team leader type pay and expenses--seemed to make sense that there would be negotiations regarding salary floors of the sort that would make US baseball players weep (or laugh). True, support a big race winner and there are shares for the domestiques, but much of the calendar does not seem to offer anything remotely like TDF prizes to cut up. My memory is hazy--and I'm no authority on this--but I seem to remember a recent discussion of a UCI Div. 1 salary floor that would have been somewhere in the 20s (euros or US$).
TdF ridersBipedZed
Jul 15, 2002 1:04 PM
TdF riders probably make a decent living. But as you mention, TdF riders are a small percentage of professional cyclists. There are many Div II/III teams as well as Div I teams that didn't get an invite and other riders on teams in the TdF that didn't make the tour cut. My WAG (wild ass guess) is that most neo pros make close to the minimum and without results don't last long in the pros. With the withdrawal of Mapei and the merging of Belgian teams it will only get worse. I attribute the frequent crashes in the Tour so far to riders taking huge risks for results they can take into negotiations for next year.
neo pros making the minimum? Ha!TJeanloz
Jul 15, 2002 1:33 PM
Most neo pros don't get a salary to speak of. Often, whatever they do get as a salary, they have to kick it back to somebody who helped get them the spot on the team.

I'd say that the New Yorker estimate of 100,000 for a TdF journeyman is about right. This would be guys like Dierckxsens, Ekimov, Andreau (pre-retirement), Heras, etc.

That seems about right.
we live in a winner take all society nmishmael
Jul 15, 2002 1:38 PM
I heard Tyson makes $30mm for losing a game...nmelviento
Jul 15, 2002 6:43 PM