Pro cyclists salaries



steve

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Aug 12, 2001
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If you have ever wondered what the average salary for a pro cyclist is, here is an interesting article;


Positive progress in the economic situation of the professional peloton between 2003 and 2009 Every year, the auditors Ernst & Young (E&Y) draw up a report for the International Cycling Union on the economic situation of the professional peloton (UCI ProTeams and UCI Professional Continental Teams). In particular, this document focuses on indicators such as trends in team budgets and riders’ salaries. E&Y produces the report as part of a mission entrusted to it by the UCI to monitor professional teams. This mission relates to the registration of the teams with the International Federation. The task has two objectives: to ensure the equal treatment of teams (all must conform to the same regulations) and to guarantee the protection of riders (employers must respect riders’ rights). The document drawn up by E&Y illustrates a heartening trend in cycling between 2003 and 2009, and in particular since the reform of road cycling in 2005. This reform saw the establishment of the UCI ProTour and the UCI Continental Circuits as well as the replacement of Trade Teams 1, 2 and 3 by UCI ProTeams, UCI Professional Continental Teams and UCI Continental Teams. In 2009 the UCI created the World Calendar, which brought together UCI ProTour events and "Historic" races, representing the top of the pyramid, while the UCI Continental Circuits still form the bulk of cycling's International Calendar. Upward trend for accumulated team budgets The accumulated budget for all professional teams1 was 160 million euros in 2003. By 2009, this figure had risen to 235 million euros, representing an increase of 46%. The budget for UCI ProTeams rose from 140 to 182 million euros, an increase of 30%. The difference is even more marked for UCI Professional Continental Teams, whose budgets have more than doubled (from 22 to 52 million euros). These figures show that accumulated investment by sponsors has steadily grown despite the drop in the number of professional teams. This drop can be attributed to the introduction of more rigorous requirements to obtain the status of UCI ProTeam or UCI Professional Continental Team. However, the total number of teams registered has increased considerably when Continental Teams are taken into account. There were 126 teams in 2003 but this figure rose to 172 teams by 2009. Cycling continues to attract sponsors who find the sport effective and profitable as a result of the good visibility it offers throughout the year. Precarious teams on the way out The E&Y report also shows a very positive trend in the lowest budgets of professional teams. With regard to UCI ProTeams, the lowest budget was 673,000 euros in 2003, but this had risen to 3.7 million euros by 2009. The corresponding figures for UCI Professional Continental Teams were 438,000 and 920,000 euros respectively. The riders were among the main beneficiaries of the gradual disappearance of professional teams operating on very limited resources. These teams were gradually replaced by structures that were more stable, particularly in financial terms. Another interesting finding was that the significant increase in the budgets of UCI ProTeams following the introduction of the UCI ProTour in the 2005 season did not curb the growth in the budgets of Professional Continental Teams. Riders’ average salary increases The average salary of professional riders rose from 70,000 euros a year (2002) to 136,000 euros (2009). The increases were considerable for riders in Professional Continental Teams (2002: 20,000 euros; 2009: 60,000 euros) as well as their colleagues in UCI ProTeams (2002: 100,000 euros; 2009: 190,000 euros). This means that the majority of riders on UCI ProTeams have a good, or indeed very good, salary. The percentage of athletes in a precarious financial situation in this category has become negligible. As for UCI Professional Continental Teams, an increasingly large proportion of riders can live well – and even very well – from their profession. Towards the elimination of the "pedalling poor" It is also notable that the percentage of very low salaries is also decreasing, both in UCI ProTeams (only 15% of riders earn less than 40,000 euros a year) as well as Professional Continental Teams (neo-professionals apart, there are no longer riders who earn less than 27,500 euros a year, whereas over half the group earned under this amount four years ago). This latter result arises from the joint agreements reached by the representatives of the teams (AIGCP) and the riders (CPA). The E&Y report thus depicts cycling in good economic health, in part as a result of the reforms introduced by the UCI. Disparities in the sport have been reduced. In view of these figures, professional cycling seems to be relatively little affected by the global economic downturn of recent months. However, the UCI continues to monitor the development of the situation in order to take any measures necessary to get through this period in the best manner possible. Jonathan Vaughters, President of the AIGCP (Association Internationale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels) and Manager of the UCI ProTeam Garmin-Slipstream, is delighted by this progress: "It is very encouraging to see how far professional cycling has come in the last ten years. Cycling continues to provide the best investment value of any sport for its sponsors. As we move forward, we need to continue to seek new ways to attract fans and additional revenue models to help support the higher dollar figures now in play at the ProTour level. Good progress has been made and it is up to us as a sport to continue that progress." Cédric Vasseur, President of the CPA (Cyclistes Professionnels Associés), the organisation that represents professional riders, also considers the figures to be very positive: « I’m delighted by this encouraging development. The most renowned riders, of course, but also a large number of riders who we would situate in the middle of the group, have benefited from it. I am now confident that athletes with lower incomes will be able to see these increase; this will happen, notably, with a rise in the minimum salary envisaged by the joint agreement between the AIGCP and the CPA.”
 

tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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Thanks for the info, Steve.

Good the trend is up. Makes me wonder about the heaviness on the top end of the spectrum though - I'd be very interested in knowing the mode salary.

At the end of the day, these guys and gals make choices as to whether or not this profession is financially viable. To get paid to ride a bike is pretty awesome though - regardless of the amount. (Shucks, how in the heck did golfers find enough fools to pay them ridiculous amounts to play, of all recreations, GOLF??!! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif) As everyone knows, even with the improvements that have been made there's still not much financial stability in pro cycling though...but damn, you're still getting to paid to ride a bike...must be nice...
 

Yojimbo_

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Apr 17, 2005
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It's not surprising to me that the total expenditure has increased if there are significantly more teams.

I also think average salary is misleading. When the very top riders on the team are getting $millions the average is biased upwards. I think a more meaningful statistic in this case would be the median salary - that's the salary at which 50% of the riders are above and 50% are below.

It is interesting that the lowest salaries have increased; however, it would also be useful if the increase in CPI (consumer price index) was also quoted for the same time period so the reader could get some idea of the real gains that have occurred.

Still - it's an interesting article and thanks for bringing it to our attention.
 

tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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The mode disregards the outliers in both directions and gives you that salary number that occurs most frequently in the distribution. Much more meaningful information to know in the attempt to get a better picture of the direction common salaries are trending for pro cyclists...
 

Scotttri

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Oct 11, 2005
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Thanks for the information Steve. Good to konw that the salaries are going up, but they are still along way off many other sports
 

genedan

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Well, given that the report was from Ernst and Young we should assume that it's misleading from the start *ahemcoughsercuritiesfraudcough.*
 

tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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Hmmm, you wanna start talkin' about equity, let's just stay within cycling and look at the disparity between women and men pros...
 

swampy1970

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Feb 3, 2008
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Originally Posted by steve .

Precarious teams on the way out The E&Y report also shows a very positive trend in the lowest budgets of professional teams. With regard to UCI ProTeams, the lowest budget was 673,000 euros in 2003, but this had risen to 3.7 million euros by 2009. The corresponding figures for UCI Professional Continental Teams were 438,000 and 920,000 euros respectively. The riders were among the main beneficiaries of the gradual disappearance of professional teams operating on very limited resources. These teams were gradually replaced by structures that were more stable, particularly in financial terms.
Maybe someone should get Astana on board with the whole "financial security" thing. It would appear that for the latter half of the last two years they've been a little shy with paying riders salaries - Contadors included. The Pegasus team has seemingly found as stable a financial structure too leaving ace sprinter Robbie McEwen to ponder whether sitting on the street corner holding a sign proclaiming "no flamme rouge, will sprint for spaghetti" is in his future... /img/vbsmilies/smilies/drool.gif I'm sure that the folks like Voeckler at Bbox/Europecar or whatever it's called hope that the wheels stay on their teams "rental" for the term of their agreement.

$35,000 a year for a Pro Continental rider, for a years worth of suffering in the ditch, hardly seeing your family, 200+ days of travel and racing and a career span of not long at all... makes you wonder. Especially as Tony pointed out that cr*ptacular "sports" like Golf get so much. Joey Chestnut gets more than that for downing burgers 'n dogs... then again, anyone who can polish off The Texas King at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in under 9 minutes deserves it...
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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Thanks for the post, Steve.

Interesting insight in to the sport.

I do share the concern expressed by others who suggest that E&Y's reputation for getting it wrong
goes before them.

€190,000 per annum for a proteam rider is not a bad wage.
Granted they work damn hard for their money though compared to other sports participants.

€60,000 per annum for a continental team rider? Not a bad wage but again it could be argued that these rider work as hard, if not harder, than proteam riders in that their team have less resources.
 

slovakguy

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Mar 17, 2006
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Originally Posted by swampy1970 .

Maybe someone should get Astana on board with the whole "financial security" thing.

just another instance of the uci's favourite swiss bankers getting all fussy because they can't figure out a suitable exchange rate for the herds of goats and sheep the kazakh federation tried to deposit to satisfy the uci's demands for financial liquidity.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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Originally Posted by slovakguy .



Quote: Originally Posted by swampy1970 .

Maybe someone should get Astana on board with the whole "financial security" thing.

just another instance of the uci's favourite swiss bankers getting all fussy because they can't figure out a suitable exchange rate for the herds of goats and sheep the kazakh federation tried to deposit to satisfy the uci's demands for financial liquidity.


/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif/img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
 

graf zeppelin

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tonyzackery

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Dec 23, 2006
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1600Euro/month is relative chump-change for a Continental team pro, for sure. Regardless, you're still being paid to ride a bike...An up-and-coming teen roadie may wanna re-think one's career choices...

Pro cyling definitely needs a TV contract, and/or have the races be held in 100,000+ seat stadiums (facetious, of course). The Spanish may be onto something as mentioned before by charging an admission fee...
 

Mattcreed

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Sep 7, 2010
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I think it's great that salaries in pro cycling are going up, but would rather see all the pro riders earning a good wage than a few earning millions and some still struggling.

With regards the comparism to other sports, I'd love cycling salaries to match or be higher than other sports although would rather the other sports salaries came down to align than cycling salaries go up to match as the money in other sports is just ridicoulous!

Not suggesting that this would ever happen