A new report makes a comparison between the earnings of Tour de France winners and professionals in the United Kingdom.
Salary benchmarking site Emolument.com drew up the report as the annual cycling race got underway. The Tour de France is a feat of sporting prowess which as as mentally draining as it is physically, but the rewards are relatively small compared to other sports.
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Report compares top cyclists to traders
The data was collected from 27,000 professionals in the United Kingdom, official Tour de France figures and information provided by Cyclingnews.
The overall winner of the Tour de France wears the yellow jersey, and takes home €450,000, compared to the sprint champion in the green jersey who earns €25,000. A hedge fund trader can expect to earn around the same amount as the yellow jersey, but his income will be that high for 10 or 20 years compared to the average 1-2 Tour de France wins for top cyclists.
The pay gap between the yellow and green jersey winners is equal to that between traders and nursery school teachers, which shows how much more important the yellow jersey is perceived to be in terms of marketing.
A white jersey is awarded to the best young rider in the Tour, and its winner takes home €20,000, equivalent to the living wage in the UK.
Tour De France – Pay gap between team and stars is huge
Cyclists who compete in the Tour de France are widely regarded as being at the highest level of their sport, but 1/3 of them will earn around €33,000 per year. Star riders such as Vincenzo Nibali, winner of the 2014 Tour, earn up to €4,000,000.
The ratio of 1/121 is equal to the pay gap between a retailer and a bank CEO. If Nibali can manage to win the Tour for a few consecutive years, he might be able to knock the traders off the top spot. However his poor performance in the 2015 Tour looks to have ended those dreams.
As Alice Leguay of Emolument.com points out, “cyclists earn far less than most professional sports players.” For comparison, she says boxer Floyd Mayweather earns €272 million per year, while footballer Cristiano Ronaldo brings in €47 million per year.
Leguay points out that “it’s interesting to see that they usually share most of their earnings with their teammates, which draws an interesting parallel with the way traders divide their bonus pool amongst their team.”