How do tour riders get paid? Like the team guys who don't get the fame the winners do. What if they abandon the race are they still paid for that race? I heard the yellow jersey winner doesn't keep the earnings they give it to the team to divide because of all the promotional money they get.
How do NFL players on teams that do not make the playoffs get paid? For decades the major portion of a true pro cyclist's money comes not from hte prizes but from their sponsors. This helps explain some of the actions in a typical race. Riders with no chance make a break, especially for an early break there is almost zero chance of staying off the front til the end. But there is a 100% chance of getting your sponsors name mentioned in any coverage, helping insure your paycheck.
pan y agua
Specifically in regard to the TDF, the teams with automatic invites are "Pro Tour " teams. The UCI mandates minimum salaries for Pro Tour team riders. It used to be approximately $40,000. ( I would imagine tha figure is now off with excnage rates, and the passage of time).
While the riders have to be paid the minimum salary, many riders make substantially more, and team leaders can have salaries in the 7 figures.
As for prize money, teams traditionally pool all their prize money, and split it amongst the team, either by race, or for the whole season. (although there have been some notable exceptions (see Andy Hampsten in the Giro.)