The leaders of the various classifications, as of stage 8. (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

What’s the prize money at the 2022 Tour de France? 

Races within races, all combining for a Paris payday.

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The Tour de France is the pinnacle of professional cycling, offering rewards beyond the prestige of a yellow jersey or global fame. Its 22 teams and 176 riders are competing for a slice of a €2,288,450-sized (US$2.3 million / AU$3.4 million) prize money pie.

For mere mortals like you and me, that is a considerable sum. But compared to other major sports, it’s pretty modest prize money. Take as an example the Wimbledon tennis tournament, with a prize pool of  £40,350,000 (€47.6 million / AU$71.3 million), from which the men’s and women’s singles winners will each pocket a novelty-sized cheque for £2,000,000 (€1.98 million / AU$2.96 million). 

A like-for-like comparison only goes so far, however, because unlike tennis players, cyclists aren’t surviving on prize money. Riders at the WorldTour level are paid a minimum salary of €40,045 (US$40,230 / AU$59,700; employed) or €65,673 (US$65,980 / AU$97,925; self-employed), with prize money awarded during races being more like a bonus than the main event. 

For the Tour de France, all those euros making up the prize pool are sliced into ever-finer increments, spread across competitions within competitions, individual sprints, and classified climbs. By the time the race gets to Paris, each team will walk away with the total of what its riders have earned throughout the race. 

The final bearer of the yellow jersey – the overall winner of the Tour de France’s general classification – takes home the biggest share of the prize pool – €500,000 (US$562,000 / AU$748,000). Those that share the podium in Paris are next best off, with the second-place finisher pocketing €200,000 (US$211,000 / AU$299,000) and the third-place finisher €100,000 (US$105,000 / AU$149,000).

There’s prize money distributed to each finisher of the race, but it drops off quickly rather than in a linear fashion. By the time you get down to 10th on GC – itself a remarkable result, painstakingly fought for over three weeks – a rider will get €3,800 (US$3,831 / AU$5,686). From 20th place down to the last finisher, all riders take home €1,000 (US$1,054 / AU$1,497).  

The spoils are somewhat less lustrous for the minor classifications. The winner of the points classification takes home a green jersey and €25,000 (US$26,300 / AU$37,430), with prize money awarded down to eighth place in that standing. That’s also the case for the king of the mountains classification, marked by the polka dot jersey. The best young rider, meanwhile, stands to gain €20,000 (US$20,168 / AU$29,944) with prize money down to fourth place. 

If we zoom in to a stage-by-stage level, there’s prize money on offer at various points during each day’s racing. The winner of each stage earns €11,000 (US$11,050 / AU$16,400) for the team kitty – as well as potentially changing the trajectory of their career, and setting themselves up for future contract negotiations. A top-20 position on a stage is good for some prize money although, again, the earnings drops off pretty sharply, stopping at €300 (US$300 / AU$450) from 15th position to 20th. 

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) wins €11,000.

Each day, a combativity prize is awarded to the rider that most animated the day’s racing, earning that rider a red dossard and a cool €2,000 (US$2,000 / AU$2,980). A race jury at the end of the Tour decides who the most aggressive rider of the entire race was, with that rider taking a €20,000 (US$20,090 / AU$29,800) super combativity prize.

Known farmyard enthusiast Thibaut Pinot earnt himself €2,000 with his stage 8 heroics. (Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Slicing the pie further, you get to the intermediate sprints and categorised climbs. The first three riders across the line at an intermediate sprint – which contributes points toward the green jersey – net €1,500 (US$1,500 / AU$2,235), €1,000 (US$1,054 / AU$1,497), and €500 (US$502 / AU$745). On each categorised climb – from which points are allocated toward the polka dot jersey – there’s a scale, depending on how tough the climb is, ranging from €200 (US$200 / AU$300) for a cat 4 climb, up to €800 (US$805 / AU$1,190)for hors categorie.

Magnus Cort’s KOM points raid in Denmark was a hit for his home crowd, but also added €200 per cat 4 climb to the EF Education-EasyPost pocket. (Photo by JASPER JACOBS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

The big fish for the climbers is the Souvenir Henri Desgrange, handed to the first rider across the highest point in the race – this year awarded on stage 11, at the Col du Galibier. That enterprising mountain goat will take home €5,000 (US$5,020 / AU$7,450) for their efforts. 

At the end of the race, all of those big and small payments gathered up in the team kitty are divided among the riders and team staff. For the likes of Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates, that makes for a pretty decent bonus – especially if they also win the teams classification, which is the lowest accumulated time of the top three riders on each team – €50,000 (US$50,200 / AU$74,570) for the winning team, tapering down to €8,000 (US$8,033 / AU$11,930) for fifth place.

Of course, some teams have a less successful Tour than that – missing out on teams classifications, any of the major jerseys, and stage wins too. For them, the Tour de France is good for a modest team-building dinner in Paris, maybe a couple of €10 Heinekens at an underwhelming Euro discotheque, and three weeks of unforgettable memories.

Here are the current prize money allocations after nine stages of the 2022 Tour de France:

It’s been a good first ‘week’ for Jumbo-Visma, thanks largely to Wout van Aert.

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