Millionaires on Tour

I recently observed that Bradley Wiggins would not become an overnight  millionaire as a result of his Tour de France winnings. This was, technically, true. But…

Money matters

I’ve done some checking online, and come up with indications of what a top pro cyclist can earn. Wiggin’s team-mate Cavendish was recruited to Team Sky on a 3-year contract worth £1.5 mn per annum. So, we can assume that Wiggins himself is paid at least that amount. Plus, there are possibilities that are now open to Wiggo for all kinds of commercial sponsorship and advertising – perhaps Gillette razors, to keep those distinctive sideburns in check? An infamous UK publicist, Max Clifford, reckons Wiggins could make £10-£20 mn, but doesn’t specify over what period, or indeed how. (Typical Max bluster!)

Back to the Tour itself: the published team prize list predictably shows that Team Sky were the top earners. Six teams (below) took home over €100,000 each. The remaining 15 teams pocketed less: from €71,470 down to the lowest, with a paltry €9,720. The total prize money on offer this year was €2,020,100.

Team Sky: €824,840
Liquigas-Cannondale: €204,110
Lotto-Belisol: €136,700
BMC Racing: €134,190
RadioShack-Nissan: €125,950
Europcar: €107,360

So, I believe my thesis still stands, although somewhat revised: the cycling world remains something of a poor relation in terms of competitive financial recompense when compared with other popular sports. For example, Dimitar Berbatov, Bulgarian football star, a long time out of favour with his team management at Manchester United, still merits current transfer offers of between £5-6 mn, albeit way down on the £30 mn fee ManU paid for him only four years ago.

Never mind! If these cycling heroes continue to entertain us, I’m happy that they can (at the very top) earn a decent living (well, 1.5 mn per year is ‘decent’ in any major currency, isn’t it?).

Sour note

Ivailo Gabrovski, probably the most prominent Bulgarian racing cyclist, winner of this year’s Tour of Turkey in outstanding fashion, has been accused by the UCI, the sport’s governing body, of illicit EPO (erythropoietin) blood-boosting during the event. At his age (34), with his varied career and wide experience! Bloody idiot!

Sweet note

Visa has reported a rise in UK bike and associated sales during the Tour.

“Visa has been tracking the nation’s spending in the run up to and during the Olympics, and says there was a 5.1% increase in the amount spent on bikes, equipment and servicing during the last week of the Tour de France compared to the same week in 2011, and a 6.4% increase on the previous week. UK consumers spent more than £21.13m in bike stores last week alone, according to Visa.”

Halfords, a national chain specialising in car accessories and bikes, and sponsor of (UK) ITV4 coverage of the Tour, says it has seen an 18% increase in sales of bikes and related equipment over the last seven days.

Bravo! Despite the British summer…

Image source: Walerian.info

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