The Tour de France is the biggest event in cycling, and the prize money for the event is equally large. For the 2021 Tour, the 108th edition of the race, a total of €2,228,450 (about 3,281,889 CAD) will be awarded in prize money to the cyclists, but the pot won’t be going entirely to the general classification winner.
This year’s Tour starts on Saturday, Jun. 26 and runs until Sunday, Jul. 18. After each of the 21 stages, jerseys are awarded to racers based on four categories. The yellow jersey to the current race leader (based on total lowest time), the polka dot jersey to the king of the mountains (the rider with the most cumulative points from categorized climbs), the white jersey for the best young rider (based on total lowest time) and the green sprinter’s jersey (the most points awarded at intermediate sprints and finishes.)
The €2,228,450 prize money (€64,550 less than last year’s €2,293,000 prize), is divided between the winners and runners-up of the different classificaitons. There are prizes for stage winners, current leaders, the overall winners and a few special primes.
Splitting it up
At the end of the 21 stages, the winner of the Tour de France—the cyclist that finishes first in the final individual general classification (yellow jersey)—will get €500,000. The top 20 in the GC will also receive some prize money, ranging from €200,000 for second place to €1,100 for 19th. Riders who finish 20th to 160th will all be awarded €1,000 for their effort.
Throughout the race, holding on to the yellow jersey will get a rider €500 per day. The rider first across the line of each stage also gets €11,000. There are daily rewards for cyclists to finish in the top 20 of a stage, though the 15th to 20th riders will only get a payout of €300.
The King of the Mountains will receive €25,000 in addition to the bonuses he will get from winning (or finishing top three) on climbs throughout the race. “Hors catégorie” mountains or summit finishes have the highest payout (€800) but even fourth category passes or climbs have a €200 prize for the first to crest the summit. The polka dot jersey also comes with a daily €300 prize for its bearer.
The final points classification winner will receive €25,000, and the top eight runner-up sprinters will also get some prize money. The cyclist with the green jersey receives €300 per day and prizes of €1,500, €1,000 and €500 are awarded to the first three sprinters across each of the 19 intermediate sprint lines.
Young rider classification
The best young rider (born after 1995) of each stage will be awarded €500, and the young rider who is currently doing the best in the general classification will receive €300. In the end, the winner of the young rider classification will walk away with €20,000.
The winner of the teams classification on each stage will receive €2,800 and the top five teams will get a prize at the end of the event (€50,000 to first place.) The most aggressive rider of each stage, chosen by a jury, will get €2,000. At the end of the Tour, the overall most aggressive (“super combatif”) rider is given €20,000.
There are a few additional prizes up for grabs as well. The €5,000 Souvenir Henri Desgrange prime is for the first rider to the top of the port d’Envalira on the 15th stage. The first rider to the top of the col du Tourmalet on the 18th stage will also get €5,000.
Prize money distribution
It sounds like there’s a decent amount of money going around, but, to be fair to hardworking teammates, prize money is normally pooled and distributed to the rider’s team members. Riders traditionally give some money to the staff as well.