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Pro cycling salary secrecy

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Pro cycling salary secrecy

Old 07-28-10, 05:01 PM
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patentcad
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Pro cycling salary secrecy

How is it that the salaries of virtually every other pro athlete from baseball to football to soccer etc. are widely discussed, but it's a big friggin mystery in pro cycling?

Is there any source for this information on the web?

My own personal theory is that the salaries are so laughable compared to other sports that there's a conspiracy between the UCI, the pro riders and their teams to keep it under wraps because it would be perceived as so pathetic and embarrassing by the sports fans of the world.
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Old 07-28-10, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
My own personal theory is that the salaries are so laughable compared to other sports that there's a conspiracy between the UCI, the pro riders and their teams to keep it under wraps because it would be perceived as so pathetic and embarrassing by the sports fans of the world.
I remember hearing that an average salary was between 60k - 70k, quite laughable indeed.
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Old 07-28-10, 05:18 PM
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Old 07-28-10, 05:23 PM
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Football players in the CFL make $100k. Their ticket sales and season are quite small. And there are few CFL jersey sales.

I'm certain they make over $100k a year. Eddie Fiola/RL Osborn et al were making a little more than that 20 years ago in BMX.

Top 100 riders worldwide I'm certain are in the six figures with endorsements.
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Old 07-28-10, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Emptei View Post
I remember hearing that an average salary was between 60k - 70k, quite laughable indeed.
That's factoring in all of the Multi-million dollar Armstrong/Contador/Schleck/etc. contracts as well. It wouldn't surprise me if the average domestique makes less than 30k per.
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Old 07-28-10, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
How is it that the salaries of virtually every other pro athlete from baseball to football to soccer etc. are widely discussed, but it's a big friggin mystery in pro cycling?
For one thing, American sports shows with a big enough audience to discuss something "widely" don't dwell on topics that no one cares about.
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Old 07-28-10, 05:25 PM
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The minimum salary is a shade over 70k.
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Old 07-28-10, 05:38 PM
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$11.75/hour
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Old 07-28-10, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ILUVUK View Post
$11.75/hour
Plus tips?
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Old 07-28-10, 05:45 PM
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Does anybody really know?
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Old 07-28-10, 05:46 PM
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Hahaha. 60-70k is funny.

I know two domestic pro's reasonably well. One raced the ToC last year, and both have done a number of high profile races. They would do better working full time at Starbucks.

The reality is since the start of the recession, with sponsor money disappearing, there are guys willing to work for just race fees and a bike. A first or second year pro is doing good to make 10k or more.

Obviously there are outliers like Phinney, but the "average pro" isn't getting rich.
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Old 07-28-10, 05:48 PM
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Here, just ask.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-a-Pro-Section
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Old 07-28-10, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by spooner View Post
Plus tips?
I'm not sure
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Old 07-28-10, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
Hahaha. 60-70k is funny.

I know two domestic pro's reasonably well. One raced the ToC last year, and both have done a number of high profile races. They would do better working full time at Starbucks.

The reality is since the start of the recession, with sponsor money disappearing, there are guys willing to work for just race fees and a bike. A first or second year pro is doing good to make 10k or more.

Obviously there are outliers like Phinney, but the "average pro" isn't getting rich.
by far the saddest part, some top amateur teams get a better deal than that. although i guess if we compare the sport i love to the sport i loved (running), it ain't too bad. i remember that some on the olympic team had to make ends meet by working at home depot
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Old 07-28-10, 06:48 PM
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The ball players get a few free balls, bats, maybe a nice set of pads. How can you compare that to a $10k bicycle?

Average MLB player in the big leagues is at $2.5 million. Yankees are the highest at $7.5 million per player(2009). That's in a sport where there is no physical contact and you sit on your butt for the majority of the game.
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Old 07-28-10, 06:58 PM
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On last year's Versus TdF coverage, there was an Ask Bobke segment where somebody asked about pro cyclists' salaries. If memory serves me well, the answer was "Not much", unless you're one of the top few cyclists that manage to get personal endorsements. On the final stage of this year's TdF, someone (I forget which bobble head it was) had mentioned that if the Radio Shack guys were disqualified because of that jersey thing, they would each stand to lose about $70k each. I assume that would've been their earnings for winning the team competition.
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Old 07-28-10, 06:59 PM
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Pro runners, swimmers, cyclist, gymnast, skaters, skiers, ... There are many sports where all but the few elite athletes make any real money.
But would you rather work at Starbucks or travel the world doing what you love?
If you notice though athletes in these sports do not feel a sense of entitlement.
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Old 07-28-10, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
Hahaha. 60-70k is funny.

I know two domestic pro's reasonably well. One raced the ToC last year, and both have done a number of high profile races. They would do better working full time at Starbucks.

The reality is since the start of the recession, with sponsor money disappearing, there are guys willing to work for just race fees and a bike. A first or second year pro is doing good to make 10k or more.

Obviously there are outliers like Phinney, but the "average pro" isn't getting rich.
You are correct, domestic pros don't make squat. UCI ProTour minimum salary is around $50k I believe, but that's only what, 500 riders on the entire planet?

Edit: 18 pro tour teams, ~25 riders a piece. That's 450 riders on the planet that are eligible for a $50k minimum salary.

Last edited by Quel; 07-28-10 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 07-28-10, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by MegaTom View Post
On last year's Versus TdF coverage, there was an Ask Bobke segment where somebody asked about pro cyclists' salaries. If memory serves me well, the answer was "Not much", unless you're one of the top few cyclists that manage to get personal endorsements. On the final stage of this year's TdF, someone (I forget which bobble head it was) had mentioned that if the Radio Shack guys were disqualified because of that jersey thing, they would each stand to lose about $70k each. I assume that would've been their earnings for winning the team competition.
That was $70K for the whole team for winning the team competition. That gets divided by the riders, mechanics, staff etc.
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Old 07-28-10, 07:09 PM
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Ah, I see. The way he said it, it sounded like he meant each rider.
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Old 07-28-10, 07:29 PM
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You can make much more money buying bike frames out of a Chinese catalog and writing "Motobecane" on them than trying to actually ride the damned 2 wheel doodads.
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Old 07-28-10, 07:53 PM
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Well,

Pay em' too much & they just blow it on drugs anyway!

Athletes need to be hungry for their living, it makes for better sport (entertainment). Can you imagine the drama if the David Beckham & likes of sport got a booboo anything approaching what a cyclist gets & picks themselves up from, on near daily basis!

Keep em' poor.
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Old 07-28-10, 08:00 PM
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A lot of CFL lineman are paid about $100 per game and practice for free.

I have friends that could have their own UCI Pro-Tour team. Not a great team but an OK one. But not for all that long. It takes 5-15 million for a season. I suspect that Lance Armstrong makes as much as every other rider in the Tour De France combined.
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Old 07-28-10, 08:02 PM
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What is the average salary of a pro golfer or tennis player?
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Old 07-28-10, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rubic View Post
What is the average salary of a pro golfer or tennis player?
http://www.pgatour.com/r/stats/info/?109

You can do the math for yourself.
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