Tour de France 2018 prize money: How much will riders earn?

July 3, 2018 4:49am EDTJuly 3, 2018 12:50am EDTWhat do you get for winning the world’s hardest bike race?

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Tom Naghten
Updated at 4:49 a.m. ET

The Tour de France is widely considered one of the most brutal sporting events in the world. Three weeks on a bike, 21 stages, more than 3,000 kilometres through mountain ranges and in all conditions. How much cash would it take you to jump in the saddle and haul yourself around France? Given some of the hefty sums global sports stars command these days, you’d think the competitors in cycling’s most prestigious race would be well-compensated.

The winner of the 2018 Tour de France general classification will be rewarded with $AU750,000 (€500,000).

Nothing to be scoffed at, but fairly paltry when compared to most international sportspeople at the top of their games.

Now, when you take into account that winners traditionally share their prize money among their teammates and staff as a thank you for a Tour’s worth of hard work, it makes you wonder why anyone would bother.

Here’s the breakdown of the prize money for those in the race for the yellow jersey:

2018 Tour de France General Classification Prize Money

Finishing position Earnings ($AUD) Finishing position Earnings ($AUD) 1 $775,000 11 $4,650 2 $310,000 12 $4,185 3 $155,000 13 $3,875 4 $108,500 14 $3,255 5 $77,500 15 $3,100 6 $35,650 16 $2,325 7 $17,825 17 $2,015 8 $11,780 18 $1,860 9 $6,975 19 $1,705 10 $5,890 20-160 $1,550

So an Aussie can finish 20th in the hardest bike race on the planet and walk away with enough cash for a flight home.

Though that’s not all the coin on offer once the riders roll into Paris.

Those high up in the mountains, points, and young rider classifications also have some financial incentive. (Here’s the breakdown of what all the classifications and jerseys mean)

Topping the polka dot and green jersey classifications will net you $38,750, the best young rider will take home $31,000, while the top-placed team will pocket $77,500.

Here’s the breakdown of the prize money for the other classifications:

Prize money for other classifications in Tour de France 2018
Position Points (green) Mountains (polka dot) Young rider (white) Teams
1 $38,750 $38,750 $31,000 $77,500
2 $23,250 $23,250 $23,250 $46,500
3 $15,500 $15,500 $15,500 $31,000
4 $6,200 $6,200 $7,750 $18,600
5 $5,425 $5,425 $12,400
6 $4,650 $4,650
7 $3,875 $3,875
8 $3,100 $3,100

Riders can also line their pockets with some handy bonuses on offer during each stage of the tour.

The top 14 finishers on each stage receive $17,500, $8,525, $4,340, $2,325, $1,287, $1,209, $1,132, $1,039, $1,007, $930, $837, $729, $682 and $527, with those finishing from 15th to 20th collecting $465.

Other little earners for the competitors include intermediate sprints and climbs, as well as each day spent leading a classification.

The first three riders across intermediate sprints receive $2,325, $1,550 and $775.

Crossing summits in first place also nets the riders some cash depending on the category of the climb.

The hardest hors catégorie (uncategorised) climbs are worth $1240.

Category one to five: $1,008, $775, $465, $310.

Special prizes of $7,750 are awarded to the riders first over the iconic Col du Portet and Col du Tourmalet climbs.

A day spent in the yellow jersey will add $775 to a rider’s kitty, while the wearers of the other jerseys will claim $465 per day.

The rider deemed most aggressive on a stage will pocket $3,100, while the ‘super combativity’ award to the Tour’s most aggressive competitor is worth $31,000.

So there you have it, that’s all the prize money on offer in this year’s race.

While a select few will take home a decent chunk, there will plenty left with little more than some tired legs and a bit of pocket change.

Though it is worth noting that the majority of a cyclist’s earnings come from salaries paid by their teams.

Superstars such as Chris Froome and Peter Sagan earn upwards of $5 million per year from their teams, not to mention private endorsement deals.

Most of the peloton however earn nowhere near that, with some of the less experienced riders on the Tour reportedly commanding around $70,000 per year.

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