2012 Tour de France Prize List

Having covered the prize money accumulated until the rest day, the chart above displays the final version after the race has finished.

Sky are famous for their “marginal gains” but this time they’ve monopolised the money, especially compared to last year when BMC Racing took €493,990 compared to Leopard Trek next on €395,310. It’s to be expected as Sky took the yellow jersey early, earning a daily rent, they finished first and second overall, won six stages and placed highly on others. First place overall nets €450,000.

As for the other teams, I think the chart reflects their visibility in the race but don’t be too harsh on those with a modest haul, it is an achievement to finish.

Remember that if the prize list isn’t the biggest in sport, winning the race outright is priceless. Income generated by prizes is a small component of a rider’s earnings and almost all of those riding the Tour earn in excess of the UCI minimum salary, €38,500 a year, most of the humble helpers will be on €50,000 or more. Nevertheless, the “Tour bonus” is very welcome and some teams – both riders and support staff – will do well.

If you want more on rider salary details, take a look at this piece from last year: How Much Does a Rider Earn.

30 thoughts on “2012 Tour de France Prize List”

  1. Great blog as always.

    I find these lists/graphics interesting, particularly that the winnings for the races are pretty small.
    If i’m not mistaken, the fee to race in the Tour de France is €5000 per race day, so only the top six teams on the list broke evan with regards to price to enter to race winnings.

    I’m pretty sure that consideration is trivial in comparison to the world-tour points and the exposure though.

  2. I’m so used to hearing about the big money salaries in American football, basketball, and baseball, and golf (British Open–8 million dollar–6.6 million Euro purse)! For such a brutal and prestigious race, it seems a pittance by comparison.

    Of course winning the Tour is priceless.

  3. The performance of the four wildcard teams is notable – Cofidis, Saur Sojasun and Argos-Shimano did virtually nothing, whilst Europcar took several stages and the polka dot jersey. Surely their efforts in the past couple TdF’s warrant serious consideration of becoming a World Tour team?

    • Do they even need to be one, they get a lot of wildcard spots and usually deliver… and it’s cheaper to be the next level down across the board of expenses and we all know french teams have much lower budgets…

      sending teams out to china and canada seems pointless if they can keep this sort of performances up at the tour, although holding on to tommy and rolland with their budget might be their biggest challenge?

      • That’s a good point, come to think of it. But if they are delivering on a regular basis, WT status would guarantee their participation in all of the GTs and other big Stage Races and the classics etc. Surely enough to ensure more money being ‘thrown’ at it, so to speak and retain the quality riders they have at present?

        • FDJ lost its Pro Team status. It wanted it back because even if it is almost 100% certain of Tour wildcard entry, it can’t be sure of an invite for the Vuelta and Giro but needs to ride other grand tours to give younger riders experience before they do the Tour.

          By contrast Europcar don’t have such a deep roster, they could just get invited every July and bring nine riders but it means they are less of a developmental team; even if they have brought on some riders.

  4. This €38,500 a year-thing was new to me. Interesting, as I had the same topic discussed with buddies of mine a couple of days earlier. So now I’ve got proof to support my point, cheers!

  5. Talking of visibility. Garmin and Cofidis seemed more visible (but got less money) than Greenedge and Ag2r. Same comment regarding Europcar and Nissenhutshack.

  6. How does the team prize money breakdown? For example, for Team Sky 650k is easy to work out, but what of the rest?

    Anyone know out of interest?


    • Yes, the 650k is easily devised from Wiggins and Froome 1-2 in the GC, but they already picked up over 125k from stage results alone. 6 individual stage wins were worth 8k a piece, Sky riders placed in the top few placings in most stages too, and they picked up the daily team classification prize in 11 stages at 2.8k per stage.

      2nd in the team classification was worth 30k, Sky placed 4th-7th in the points classification for another 13k and Froome was 6th in the mountains placings for another 3k. Not a conclusive breakdown, but an overview for you.

      • Thanks for that reply. Its amazing how widely the prize-money is spread. I rather like it that way, even if it is difficult to calculate afterwards.

        It also shows how dominant Team Sky have been this year. I am not surprised people have said it was boring, but I prefer to think it was a wonderful display of team cycling.

        • It’s easy to calculate in comparision with the Giro, where there’s about 10 different daily prizes to award on top of the top 20 stage finishers (getting rather uneven amounts at that). And then at the end of it all, there is a prize for the general classification of 289 odd thousand euro, with no clarification at all as to whether that is a prize for the winner or split amongst all finishers. Couldn’t find the answer anywhere!

          • I think the 289,100 general classification prize money refers to all the other prizes awarded during the race, like the daily award for the holder of the pink jersey or for an intermediate sprint.

          • Immaturestudent – I’m not sure, I’ve read those regulation documents before and it just doesn’t seem clear at all. The daily awards are broken down in a ‘Special Prizes’ category on the final page, so I don’t think its them. Perhaps Ryder Hesjedal earned himself and the Garmin team nearly 300k for the Giro win (on top of the 90k special prize for 1st place and all the other bits and pieces he picked up over the three weeks)

            I don’t really know why the prize money stuff bothers me that much, other than that money lists in other sports have intrigued me before.

          • Looking at the final page, I read it as there are 3 categories of prizes:

            1. Regular prizes – prizes given out daily during the race, made up of a) daily stage finish… e.g. 1st,2nd,3rd etc and b) daily ‘general classification’ prizes (as previously discussed).
            2. Special prizes – Given out after the race has concluded to the overall top riders.
            3. Team prizes – for time, points and fair play.

            I think the confusion arises because ‘general classification’ is used to mean something slightly different in the TdF.

            Saying all this, I am not someone who has look at these sorts of things before, so I could be entirely wrong. It just seems to make sense to my way of thinking.

  7. Reminds me of my daze of racing a motorcycle at the pro level. The question always was, “Can you really call this professional when you spend more money that you could possibly win?” With all the problems ol’ Rupert Murdoch and Co. are having right now, one wonders if the funding for SKY is secure? It was not long ago that the winning team at La Vuelta ended up losing their sponsor.

    • Sky is a Europe-wide moneymaking machine, as you know being based in Italy. It now has a bigger budget than the BBC. Even when (hopefully) Murdoch goes to prison, it’s a huge business that can easily support a successful cycling team whoever owns it and the resultant publicity is unusually positive for once. Lewis Hamilton, for example, is probably paid far more than the entire Teamsky budget, and its not like F1 drivers die anymore. Which may be why I no longer watch it…

      • From the Guardian today:

        “Sky are signed up to continue funding until after the Olympics in 2016, although the broadcaster is surprisingly coy about acknowledging James Murdoch’s decision to back the two-wheeeled sport so wholeheartedly.”

  8. I wonder if you did place some intended minor mistake in the list?
    I see these numbers show up at different sites, maybe they did they homework the easy way?

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