The 170 riders remaining in the 2011 Tour de France are enjoying their second and final rest day before the race heads into the Alps.
And, with no runaway leader after three stages in the Pyrenees, a growing number of riders will have their sights set on wearing the yellow jersey in Paris on Sunday.
Honour and glory will fuel the fire through the remaining six stages – but what else is at stake?
The overall prize pot for the Tour de France stands at €3,412,546. Each team splits the money it wins – not just between riders, but mechanics, soigneurs and sometimes even the bus driver, although each team will have its own formula.
Of the total prize fund, €1,127,346 (approximately €50,000 per team) is handed out by the Tour organisers to help cover each of the 22 team’s expenses.
Top spot on the podium in Paris is worth €450,000. A weighty cheque but small fry in world sport terms; the men’s and women’s singles champions at this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament each took home £1,100,000 (€1,258,528).
Second place in the Tour is worth €200,000, while third place gets €100,000. Finishing from fourth to 90th pays out between €70,000 and €450, while every other finisher nets just €400.
A day in the yellow jersey brings with it a cheque for €350 – so Thor Hushovd netted €2,450 from seven days in the maillot jaune. Each of the other three jerseys – green for the points classification, polka dot for King of the Mountains and white for best young rider – are worth €300 a day.
An individual stage victory is worth €8,000 to the winning rider, while second earns €4,000 and prize money is awarded down to 20th (€200).
The final winner of the points and King of the Mountains classifications each collects €25,000, while the best young rider in the final general classification picks up €20,000.
Geraint Thomas was part of a six-man break on stage 12, leading the race for much of the ascent of the Col du Tourmalet before being pipped to the summit by Jeremy Roy.
But Thomas was blissfully unaware that the first man to the top picked up the Prix Jacques Goddet and a cheque worth €5,000.
“No wonder he (Roy) went for it. 5,000 euros – you can do a lot with that, buy a lot of beers with that,” said Thomas.
The first rider to scale the Col du Galibier on stage 18 nets the €5,000 Henri Desgrange prize, named after the first organiser of the Tour de France.
Thomas would have found some consolation in being voted the most aggressive rider for stage 18 and winning the combativity prize, worth €2,000 each day, while the rider judged to have ridden the most aggressive Tour is awarded €20,000 in Paris.
Keep an eye open for the team whose riders are wearing yellow numbers each day – they’re leading the team classification. That’s calculated by the best three riders in the general classification and the top squad is awarded €2,800 each day.
So who’s in the money after 15 stages? Omega Pharma-Lotto top the table with €67,460 in the bank thanks largely to the ever-present Philippe Gilbert and stage 14 winner Jelle Vanendert. Thor Hushovd has helped Garmin-Cervelo amass €56,140, while Team Sky are fourth on the prize list with €33,690. Astana, anonymous throughout the race, have only €4,270 to their name. Just €502, 650 of the total prize fund has been allocated thus far, leaving plenty up for grabs in the final week.