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Salaries of the Discovery Team - support riders.

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Salaries of the Discovery Team - support riders.

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Old 06-27-05, 08:19 AM
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nikos
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Salaries of the Discovery Team - support riders.

Just wondering if anyone has an idea of what the support riders make on Discovery. Seems like a well credentialed pack of riders, not including Lance, what is the average salary for these guys. Noticed on Cyclism last night - Landis had a real nice home, must be making some big bucks.
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Old 06-27-05, 08:25 AM
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They don't get paid. Rather they get free cable TV and all the Discovery TV t-shirts they want.
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Old 06-27-05, 10:05 AM
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I read somewhere that LA makes about $11M per year, mostly from endorsements.

Which would be interesting, as that is reputedly what Anne Robinson makes every year in salary. And in Pounds Sterling to boot.
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Old 06-27-05, 02:30 PM
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I( read that LA makes about 20 mil a year with all his endorsements.

I think tyler had a salary right at 1 mil before he got busted, Landis is probably half that. Domestic guys maybe make 12 or 15K a year, plus winnings, Chris Horner was probably the highest paid domestic pro, and he agreed to a paycut to go to Europe to ride for Saunier/Prodir. I know what a couple of the motorola/usps guys made in the late 90's but I know them, and don't want to post particulars, lets just say its less than Landis.
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Old 06-27-05, 03:33 PM
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i read somewhere that horner was making over 100K before going to S-D, but that he had to take a huge cut to go to Europe. Discovery is a very well funded team (one of the best funded teams in the protour, i believe), so i am willing to bet that the domestiques are pretty well paid relative to other teams' domestiques.
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Old 06-27-05, 03:42 PM
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Ya 15k is about right (at least for the healthnet guys) domestic, but what about all the other things, like food and hotels and etc etc...
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Old 06-27-05, 05:17 PM
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In Lance's second book I believe he listed that the members of the team (excluding him) were making $60,000 USD per year. The team was given bonus' of $50,000 USD each when they won the TDF. Lance also personally gave each of the 8 domestiques $50,000 USD. So Team Discovery Domestiques made $160,000 USD each that year at least.
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Old 06-27-05, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bikeophile
Lance also personally gave each of the 8 domestiques $50,000 USD.
From his own pocket, or from the prize money from winning the Tour? It's traditional, to some degree, for the winner to divide the prize money amongst his support riders- besides, in this day and age, the winner almost automatically makes waaaaay more in endorsements over the coming year(s). $400k sounds about right for the GC winner, and split 8 ways... 50 per.

But I wonder what endorsements someone from a micro-nation would get... Luxembourger Kim Kirchen, anyone? I'm sure there'd be a healthy number of pan-Euro endorsements, but it'd come nowhere near what a French, Italian, or German winner would get with the full backing of their nation's marketing seers.

Notice I don't mention a possible UK winner... <cheeky grin>
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Old 06-27-05, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 97 Teran
...I wonder what endorsements someone from a micro-nation would get... Luxembourger Kim Kirchen, anyone?
I don't know. But, if he is that nations's ONLY representative in the TdF, I'd think he would be a "big name" for miles and miles around his home town (Or, given the size of his country, for "thousands of meters" around his home town).

BOTH of the Trek dealers in his country would have big posters saying "Kim rides a Trek...so should you". And, as the only "star" from that country, he would have first dibs on all the "cyling groupies" from his native land (which last year, consisted solely of the grandmother of one of the Trek dealers).

So, I'd guess being a support rider from a tiny country may have benefits that a support rider from France, Italy, or Spain has never dreamed about. The "Mouse that Roared" syndrome.
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Old 06-27-05, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
Ya 15k is about right (at least for the healthnet guys) domestic, but what about all the other things, like food and hotels and etc etc...
Food and accomodation is paid by the team when away at races. Bloody tough life.
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Old 06-27-05, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by my58vw
Ya 15k is about right (at least for the healthnet guys) domestic, but what about all the other things, like food and hotels and etc etc...
The UCI has set a minimum salary for team members competing in the european ProTour, I believe it is 20,000 euros per year. One of the .PDFs on the UCI website that outlines road racing rules has this info in it.
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Old 06-27-05, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by thewalrus
The UCI has set a minimum salary for team members competing in the european ProTour, I believe it is 20,000 euros per year.

bugger all, really.
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Old 06-29-05, 02:02 AM
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Aitor Gonzalez was on US30 grand when he won La Vuelta. That year was 2002 and Oscar Sevilla must have been consuming all the money at Kelme. Pro cycling is very much a have and have nots peloton. The distribution of wealth is worse the NY, where bankers pull millions every year and the homeless dig trashcans.

Aitor G won the last long tt in the Giro that year in 2002, the start of the seaon, so the 30 grand was for a top rider, even before he won the Vuelta.
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Old 06-29-05, 04:43 AM
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Ive just read that Discover's budget is $15,000,000...For the year..My bet is they pay some top help decent salaries to help keep Lance in the yellow jersey..
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Old 06-29-05, 05:55 AM
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ESPN reported last week that Lance will make $28 million this year in salry and endorsements. He is tied for like 8th in the highest annual incomes of athletes world wide.
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Old 06-29-05, 06:06 AM
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Several of the best teams in the Tour de France have two or three guys good enough to win the race if the stars are aligned for them. So, Ullrich has two guys looking over his shoulder who are there "just to help Ullrich", but if he falters, they would steer their bikes toward the Podium "just for the good of the team". And, those guys make VERY good money. With endorsements, likely well over a million dollars a year.

But, what about the WORST guy on the WORST team? Yeah, he might be making about $20,000 plus free meals and free hotels. He is being TERRIBLY exploited right? He is getting to do something he loves. He is traveling around the world. He may have an 11th grade education and is escaping from his family's farm or from his brothers Dairy Queen franchise for a few years. The same reason other young guys join the Marines, except people are not shooting at you.

My guess is, if you asked most 20 year old guys "would like like to go to France, Italy, Australia and Singapore and ride a bike or would you rather learn to say "Would you like fries with that?", it is an easy choice.

I was reading about a fairly well known ex-pro who now owns a "snack" truck. He parks the truck along the road during bike races and as the race goes by he is saying "Do you need extra mustard?". As much as this guy loves being in the "snack" business, I'm suspect he wishes he was one of the guys out there on the bikes.
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Old 06-29-05, 06:18 AM
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There are jobs for some after racing, but not all that many.

Gigi Sgarbozza, Davide Cassani, Laurent Jalabert, Jacky Durand, Richard Virenque, and others are doing good work as commentators and tech analysts for elite racing. Quite a few become DS's or team managers. But overall, there are a lot more riders than jobs like that.

It happens in all sports. Mike Marson, high draft pick in the early days of the Washington Capitals, ended up driving a bus in Ontario.

When you make a living (such as it may be) in a profession for the young, which has a very short life expectancy, there are usually a lot of years left during which you have to make a living. Unless, of course, you are at the top (like LA), or started out independently wealthy (like another five time TdF winner).
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Old 07-01-05, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Barese Rider
Ive just read that Discover's budget is $15,000,000...For the year..My bet is they pay some top help decent salaries to help keep Lance in the yellow jersey..
I heard an interview a few years back from a US Postal spokesman trying to justify the $40M+ they spent on cycling. Didn't make clear if that was annual or if that was aggregate sum of all of the years they were primary sponsor for the team. Unless I heard him incorrectly, he actually boasted of a $7m profit as a direct result of their $40m investment in cycling.

(Did I get that wrong or is that a -87% loss?)
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Old 07-01-05, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 97 Teran
From his own pocket, or from the prize money from winning the Tour? It's traditional, to some degree, for the winner to divide the prize money amongst his support riders- besides, in this day and age, the winner almost automatically makes waaaaay more in endorsements over the coming year(s). $400k sounds about right for the GC winner, and split 8 ways... 50 per.

But I wonder what endorsements someone from a micro-nation would get... Luxembourger Kim Kirchen, anyone? I'm sure there'd be a healthy number of pan-Euro endorsements, but it'd come nowhere near what a French, Italian, or German winner would get with the full backing of their nation's marketing seers.

Notice I don't mention a possible UK winner... <cheeky grin>
Lance splits the TDF winnings among the team and yes he throws in a lot of money from his own pocket. I'm not sure how much but it is a lot... I believe it was over $400,000 last year. People will say, well he already makes a lot of money so he won't miss it. I don't care how much a person makes writing a $400,000 check to his team mates is a lot. When was the last time a team member of any sports team wrote a check for that much to his team mates?

BTW, Roberto Heras made in excess of $650,000 a year at US Postal, I believe he has eclipsed the $1million mark with his new team.

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Old 07-01-05, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by squeegy200
I heard an interview a few years back from a US Postal spokesman trying to justify the $40M+ they spent on cycling. Didn't make clear if that was annual or if that was aggregate sum of all of the years they were primary sponsor for the team. Unless I heard him incorrectly, he actually boasted of a $7m profit as a direct result of their $40m investment in cycling.

(Did I get that wrong or is that a -87% loss?)
If it was a profit of $7MILLION, then it wasn't a loss. A profit would assume that they made back their initial $40+ investment and an additional $7Million... Not too shabby...
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Old 07-02-05, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dahvaio
If it was a profit of $7MILLION, then it wasn't a loss. A profit would assume that they made back their initial $40+ investment and an additional $7Million... Not too shabby...
From what we had seen in the press over here, Americans were up in arms over the "investment" in cycling by USPS, and various action groups worked hard to eliminate it, citing the rise in the cost of postage, which they laid in part at the door of that cycling team investment.
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Old 07-02-05, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by gmason
From what we had seen in the press over here, Americans were up in arms over the "investment" in cycling by USPS, and various action groups worked hard to eliminate it, citing the rise in the cost of postage, which they laid in part at the door of that cycling team investment.
If Americans were up in arms about Poastal's budget it was a well kept secret here in the Northeast.. I never heard one word about it..

The info I got on 15 mil. for Discovery's budget was from Velo News' special in the TDF...
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Old 07-02-05, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Barese Rider
If Americans were up in arms about Poastal's budget it was a well kept secret here in the Northeast.. I never heard one word about it.
Interesting, as I also saw it on CNN, EuroNews, and in the IHT.
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Old 07-02-05, 06:40 AM
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Actually, there was a "watch dog" group and a couple of Congressmen complaining about USPS sponsoring the cycling team...I think I read that, as mentioned above, the team budget per year was about $14,000,000. No one ever seems to point out that the USPS spends about $350,000,000. per year on advertising which is what the cycling team is all about. I think they just stopped the sponsorship because they didn't want to put up with the hassle from the nay-sayers.
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Old 07-02-05, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 97 Teran
From his own pocket, or from the prize money from winning the Tour? It's traditional, to some degree, for the winner to divide the prize money amongst his support riders- besides, in this day and age, the winner almost automatically makes waaaaay more in endorsements over the coming year(s). $400k sounds about right for the GC winner, and split 8 ways... 50 per.

But I wonder what endorsements someone from a micro-nation would get... Luxembourger Kim Kirchen, anyone? I'm sure there'd be a healthy number of pan-Euro endorsements, but it'd come nowhere near what a French, Italian, or German winner would get with the full backing of their nation's marketing seers.

Notice I don't mention a possible UK winner... <cheeky grin>
From his own pocket- and quite a bargain at that given the endorsement money he made. Doubling the bonus was unprecedented.
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