The yellow jersey may be the most iconic prize in cycling, and one of the most recognisable in sport, but there is plenty more up for grabs at the 2018 Tour de France beside the fabled maillot jaune.
Now preparing for its 105th edition, the Tour de France is big business and the man standing atop the final podium in Paris will also take home €500,000 – the same prize money as in 2016 and 2017.
That means Chris Froome has won €1,000,000 on his GC placing alone in the last two races, and that is before you factor in prizes for stage wins (€11,000 for each individual stage), climbs (€800 for the first over a hors categorie climb) and positions in the final secondary classifications too.
In total, there is €2,287,750 up for grabs in prize money at the 2018 Tour de France – a small increase on last year thanks to there being more prize-paying climbs on the route.
Here’s the full breakdown of the Tour de France 2018 prize money available…
The total prize money on offer at the 2018 Tour de France is €2,287,750. That figure is largely the same as last year, with the very small increase only because of the different route (more prize-paying climbs).
Each team will pool the total money they win and split according to their own formulas – not just between the riders but mechanics, soigneurs and sometimes even the bus driver. Team Sky, unsurprisingly, scooped the biggest share of last year’s prize pot with €716,590 after Chris Froome’s fourth GC win. At the other end of the scale, Bahrain-Merida and Cofidis both earned less than €20,000 between them.
As with 2016 and 2017, the man in the yellow jersey on the final podium in Paris will earn €500,000 in prize money. We wouldn’t turn our noses up at that amount but it is actually quite small in comparison to some other major sporting events – the men’s and women’s singles winners at Wimbledon this month will each scoop £2,250,000 for example (roughly €2,542,000) while the PDC World Darts Champion will earn around €65,000 more (at the current exchange rate) at the start of next year.
Prize money is then scaled down according to finishing position. The runner-up gets €200,000, third place gets €100,000, fourth is paid €70,000 and fifth place earns €50,000. That runs through to 19th place (€1,100) while all other finishers receive €1,000 for slogging it around France for three weeks.
There are 20 individual stages on this year’s route and each of those pays €11,000 to the winner with everybody down to 20th place remunerated for their efforts. Second place gets €5,500 and third place receives €2,800, down to €300 for every one from 15th to 20th. Marcel Kittel scooped €55,000 in prize money for stage wins alone last season.
As well as the top 20 on the stage, the best young rider (those who will be under 26 on January 1 2019) is paid an additional €500 for their efforts. There are no prizes below first place in the young rider category.
An additional €500 is up for grabs as payment for a day in the yellow jersey – so there is more than just honour available when it comes to leading cycling’s greatest race. Only three riders pulled on the yellow jersey in 2017 – Geraint Thomas (who therefore earned €2,000 prize money), Fabio Aru (€1,000) and Chris Froome (€7,000).
The three other jerseys – the white jersey of best young rider, the green jersey for the points classification leader and the polka dot jersey for the current King of the Mountains – are all worth €300 a day.
After Michael Matthews scooped last year’s green jersey and Warren Barguil pulled on the polka dots on the Paris podium, they will have added €50,000 to the Team Sunweb prize pot between them – with the winner of each paid €25,000. The winner of the white jersey – which for the last two years has been one of the Yates twins, Adam in 2016 and Simon in 2017 – earns €20,000.
Second place in each classification is worth €15,000 and third place earns €10,000. The fourth-placed rider in the youth classification will earn €5,000 – compared to €4,000 in the other two – but no further prize money is awarded to the young riders, whereas the other two classifications pay down to eighth place (€2,000).
As well as earning points towards the green jersey, the first three riders at each intermediate sprint will earn money too (€1,500 for first, €1,000 for second and €500 for third). It is why getting in the breakaway can be profitable and why, even when there is no chance of victory in the classification, you will often see breakaway riders going hell-for-leather at the intermediate sprint points.
This year’s race features 19 road stages (plus one team time trial and one individual time trial) so there will be 19 prizes of €1,500 available to the first across the intermediate sprint point on each stage.
As with the sprints, there is also prize money available for the first rider across every climb, with each paying out according to its classification. The nine hors categorie climbs on this year’s route are worth €800 to the first rider across, €450 for the second and €300 for the third.
Category-one climbs also pay out for the first three places, with €650 up for grabs for the winner, while two prizes are available on a category-two ascent: €500 for first and €250 for second. Only one rider is paid on category-three and category-four climbs, however – €300 for the former and €200 for the latter.
In addition to those prizes, there are two bonus prizes up for grabs. The Souvenir Henri Desgrange is worth €5,000 for the first rider to reach the highest point of the race – in this case, the Col du Portet on stage 17. The Souvenir Jacques Goddet is paid to the first rider to cross the Col du Tourmalet, meanwhile, which returns to the route this year on stage 19 – that is also worth €5,000.
Team Sky’s prize fund last year was also swollen by the €50,000 they picked up for topping the team classification. The top five teams are paid out at the end of the race, with €30,000 up for grabs for second place, €20,000 for third, €12,000 for fourth and, finally, €8,000 for fifth place.
There is also €2,800 up for grabs for the top team on each stage, including the team time trial winners.
The final prize handed out on the Paris podium is the super combatif award, for the most aggressive rider in the race. Warren Barguil scooped the prize last year for his efforts in winning the polka-dot jersey.
The most aggressive rider every day is also remunerated to the tune of €2,000 – it is worth eking out those extra kilometres as the peloton is charging down on you as it could be the difference between money in the kitty and a fruitless return.