Tour de France prize list

Monday, 25 July 2011

Below is the final prize list from the 2011 Tour de France. BMC top the list with €493,990, largely thanks to the €450,000 first prize. The Swiss team banks a sum 47 times greater than Radioshack.

Tour de France prize list

Statisticians might agree that there’s no correlation between a team’s budget and its prize haul. It’s worth noting that a handful of team dominated the results. BMC take the overall and a stage win, Leopard-Trek second and third place and stage win. Europcar had the yellow jersey for a long time plus a stage win too. Then HTC-Highroad took six stages, Garmin-Cervélo had four plus the yellow jersey and Omega Pharma-Lotto took three stages. There was not much left for the others.

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Rooie July 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm

Two conclusions:
1) The total amount seems a bit small, especially compared to for example Roland Garros
2) The difference between winning five stages and green (HTC) and winning the Tour (BMC) is too big.

Another conclusion is that Radioshack should be worried for holding on to their Pro Tour status. If not this year, then definitely next year.

@joshhilby July 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Its interesting what the ASO’s profit / prize ratio is, though. Taking in appearance fees / team…the total is just over 3millino euros?

It fascinates me that even if the ASO never rev-shares TV revenues w/ teams, that they can take so much in profit and dole out so little prize money as a percentage of those profits.

matt July 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm

This definatly shows which teams were the best in Le Tour.

The Inner Ring July 25, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Rooie / joshhilby: yes the amounts are relatively small. But as much as I publish the sums involved here and give them prominence, nobody rides the race for money. Tthe real prize is the honour, glory, recognition and publicity. Even if ASO had a prize list worth €500 the teams and riders would still queue up to ride.

Tom July 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm

HTC took 6 stages, not 5

Bal July 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm

BMC banks a sum *473 times* greater than Radioshack? ~ 494,000 euro v. 11,000 euro?

Regardless of this, great posts this Tour (and everything else). Thanks

The Inner Ring July 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Tom / Bal: thanks, fixed!

Ivan Brauner July 25, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Excellent TdF coverage and insightfull comments! Thanks very much!

@joshhilby July 26, 2011 at 12:22 am

I think we are just going to disagree a bit on that point. I don’t think you are entirely wrong, I mean I get what you are saying.

I totally agree that the glory collected and exposure gained by teams doing well far outweighs the actual dollar amount being issued in prizes.

But two points:
1) this is a FOR profit enterprise. riders, particularly of the winning team, should be compensated commensurate to where the sport has risen as far as a business. That is simply not being reflected right now in prize money issued.

2) the appearance fees for all teams should be at least a half million euros. these teams make the audience that ASO and others profit off of. while JV and others have mentioned the ASO (may) think they can run the Tour as a French only affair if they are cornered, that simply is not the case. Worldwide TV revenue is what makes them their money. Without the top GC teams there with their riders AND the other teams AND the wildcard teams (eurosport truly made this a great tour), the ASO would lose half of their revenue yearly as a conservative profit. Most estimations I have seen said that the Contador/Armstrong duel may have increased ASO revenues, net…not gross, by as much as 32million USD that year. Its time the business of the sport changes to flow down and not just up.

Better compensated riders and teams are key to the long term growth of the sport and attracting more talent globally.

Steve July 26, 2011 at 2:43 am

Compare what riders go through during just one days effort vs. any other professional athlete. It really is a crime to have such a small payout. Honour, glory and all that understood, but it’s still a job. I’d be curious to know what NBC/Versus paid for the US broadcast rights. They had it locked down so nothing live was coming across the ‘net.

Roadie1 July 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Echo-ing the comments of others, it is striking how little the teams win. I’d be very interested to know the breakdown of a team’s finances -i.e. proportion of income from sponsors, winnings etc.

Maybe my view is warped form recent reading of wikipedia’s page on the history of doping in the sport but, It seems to me that the actual riders in cycling have always been pretty much exploited, with relatively little reward, to the benefit of the sports’ organisers. Surely something is not right if the athletes are being treated like marginaly more sentient horses?

I’m sure it’s futile to argue that “riders should be paid more” and arguably it says more about other sports where the athletes are truly cosseted. Nonetheless, I’m full of admiration for anyone who can nake it round the tour -even if doped up on cocaine and ether.

mark July 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm

am i correct in thinking that the riders share the prize money or does the management team structure get some of the cash

deacon July 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm


Thank your for your site (and insight); I wish I had found your site during Le Tour instead of after. My wife got hooked this year and is experiencing post-tour blues, also.
Of course, Le Tour is about glory and honor and the earnings may be (relatively) small, but am I correct in my thinking that the riders receive fairly sizable salaries as a part of the team, anyway? If so, they are being compensated to ride for the team, and Le Tour provides the glory.
Thanks again.

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