How much do pro cyclists in the US earn?

May 6, 2009
8,524
1
0
Something I have always been interested in. When Mike Creed got let go by Rock Racing, he mentioned how he was struggling to the pay his mortgage until he got a part-time job with SRAM and Team Type 1 came along. I have also heard stories about riders racing for $15-20k per year. I would think Joe Papp is the best to give an answer on this.
 
Mar 19, 2009
941
0
0
How come your username has a full stop, but you don't bother with punctuation in your posts?
 
Apr 9, 2009
1,916
0
0
Very very very very little. Most domestic pros get their racing expenses covered in terms of equipment, travel, race entry, etc. and get paid $5-10K on top of that so they can feed themselves and afford to sublet a room from some college kids. It's a fairly brilliant way to live IMHO.
 
Apr 9, 2009
1,916
0
0
thehog said:
Yes Floyd Landis has the luxury of sleep on someone else sofa. Its the big time in US cycling.
Don't knock it brah, I've let local pro friends live on my couch for a week or two when the frat boys they were rooming with had to find a new frat house. Good thing our sport has Armstrong to champion for the rights of the little guy domestic pro! Oh wait he never does anything like that. :D
 
Mar 10, 2009
7,269
1
0
BikeCentric said:
Don't knock it brah, I've let local pro friends live on my couch for a week or two when the frat boys they were rooming with had to find a new frat house. Good thing our sport has Armstrong to champion for the rights of the little guy domestic pro! Oh wait he never does anything like that. :D
With a potential political career in the back of his mind, he must have thought that displaying such flagrant 'socialism' wasn't the way to go ;)
 
These are guesses, but somewhat educated guesses:

I don't know the "high" end domestic, but I'm guessing Rock might pay the best, and probably around $30k and up. Maybe someone has high as Sevilla or Mancebo are over $50k. Floyd might be in that range, but he's also probably in a lot of debt.

Most bottom end pros make about $15k a year, maybe less, maybe more. Depends on how well the team does, for extras, wins, primes, etc. It's a lot of sleeping in vans and on couches, hostels or stuffing 6 guys in a hotel room and sleeping on the floor, and all-you-can-eat meals at buffets, going to a pizza place just before closing and asking what they have left over, bagel shops in the morning asking for yesterday's leftovers, etc.
 
Mar 18, 2009
93
0
0
I can't speak for all US based teams, but I worked for Fly V Australia at the Tour of California and we had a pretty nice set up, at least on the road. Decent hotels, two guys to a room max, and good food, plus two soigneurs, two mechanics, a doctor and all the other staff needed to take care of them so all they had to do was race and recover. Away from the races all the Aussies were living in the guest house of a friend of the team management and some of the other guys were sleeping on couches, but they didn't seem to mind too much.
I know at least a few of them own houses and have families, so they must be making a decent, if not fantastic, salary.

Then again, I know a few other "pros" that aren't on UCI registered teams and don't get anything more than primes and their split of the prize pool, or maybe $5-10k for the season if they're lucky. Being a pro cyclist isn't the way to get rich :p, unless you're one of the top 5%.
 
Jun 9, 2009
403
0
0
Pro bike racers are a lot like pro surfers, skiers, or skateboarders in many ways. They are all in sports that are fun to do, so the lifestyle they enjoy is worth the financial sacrifice to them.

These sports are completely funded by sponsorship money, since it is not practical to charge admission to the competitions. Thus, the sponsors have the luxury of determining the budgets of the tems.

I would like to see cycling become an NCAA sanctioned sport. The popularity of collegiate cycling in the U.S. is growing.

If cycling became an NCAA sanctioned sport, then the opportinuty for scholarships would increase. Talented junior racers would have the chance to further themselves through education and dedicate themselves to cycling at the same time.

This model works for many sports other than the stadium or arena filling ball sports.

Payment for racers in the form of scholarships would be great for the future of the sport.
 
May 13, 2009
692
1
0
Back in 2001, I got an offer for a contract with an European third division team, salary was nothing for first year just covered living expenses, seconde year was around $300 USD per month...thats when I decided to become and Engineer :(

IMO pro cyclists are underpaid
 

flicker

BANNED
Aug 17, 2009
4,153
0
0
pro cyclists

Are the blood bags and medicine included in the 300$ per month or does the third tyre rider have to pay for them through their paycheck?
 
Mar 10, 2009
7,269
1
0
flicker said:
Are the blood bags and medicine included in the 300$ per month or does the third tyre rider have to pay for them through their paycheck?
Even Virenque and his colleagues at the Festina were charged (pun intended) for their 'treatment'. At the end of the year the tab was certainly not picked up by the team and the expenses were deducted from their paychecks...
 
Jun 2, 2009
56
0
0
Some domestic US pros end up with a fair amount of credit card debt trying to make it through the season, with the hope of working enough in the off season to pay it down.
 
Jun 19, 2009
5,220
0
0
indurain666 said:
Back in 2001, I got an offer for a contract with an European third division team, salary was nothing for first year just covered living expenses, seconde year was around $300 USD per month...thats when I decided to become and Engineer :(

IMO pro cyclists are underpaid
That and worse: a buddy riding for a famous US squad that lost sponsorship got two Euro offers. One for Rabo and one for Jan's team. Rabo's representative wanted the equivalent of one year's wage (about $60K) in cash to sign the rider. Jan's director only wanted half that. That is the rider paying the DS staff. Sound strange? Not really as top Euro amateurs ususally make enough to pay the dowry for a Division One ride. My buddy stayed Continental rather than pay to get cold showers and bottle-ferrying duty in the service of rider's he'd already beaten. How many other US guys have had that experience?
 
Good(?) link there Hulk. Sad that there are probably very few women making decent money in cycling, and they are likely paid less than men even on a domestique level for a continental squad. The woman in that article making $5k is probably the norm. :(

It goes without saying that there is more and more independent contract work in the US (world perhaps), allowing benefits to be eliminated, and what amounts to the hourly rate of pay, cut down below, often way below, minimum wage, even for a state like Texas or Alabama, that have very low minimum wages. :(

I like the idea of NCAA cycling. GL has talked about getting high schools in some districts to form cycling teams. It would take probably a mid-six figures to fund it all for all the schools in a district, but how cool would that be?
 
May 6, 2009
8,524
1
0
Do riders have to pay tax on top of that 5k per year?

Alpe, we had something similar called WorkChoices and our PM at the time got his ass kicked in the following election (John Howard was more or less George Bush's girlfriend
).
 
Aug 13, 2009
12,855
0
0
pay to play is super common on even Pro Tour teams. I know a few guys who paid to be on USPS as they thought it would raise their profile for a better contract in the future.
 
May 6, 2009
8,524
1
0
No way would I pay a DS to ride on his team. It wouldn't happen if the riders weren't too weak to form a union that actually did something.
 
Jun 19, 2009
5,220
0
0
craig1985 said:
Do riders have to pay tax on top of that 5k per year?

Alpe, we had something similar called WorkChoices and our PM at the time got his ass kicked in the following election (John Howard was more or less George Bush's girlfriend
).
You wouldn't pay tax if you earned $5K a year. Someone would want to know how you were surviving. By the way...if you can't feed yourself and pay the rent on what you make as a rider; you aren't a pro. You're an amateur with enough money to buy a pro license and a dream. If you've done that for more than one season you are delusional.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY