How much do pro cyclists in the US earn?

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May 6, 2009
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Maybe you could pull it off you lived with family and/or friends who willing to support you. But if you have to ride for that amount or pay a DS to ride on a team, then time to get a proper job. Gianni Savio said recently that he had a couple of riders approach him willing to ride for peanuts and he told them the answer was no.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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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
).
Actually, he was Bush's dog! At least according to one of the pre-Iraq war protests!

 
A

Anonymous

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money...

I lived in Belgium for about a decade and rode with some guys who made it to the tour...not big stars...but ok...
It was interesting the way they got there...first off, they collected welfare or whatever sorta state support you might want to call it...and then whatever village they came from would support them in all sorts of ways...one by was having a support night for the rider...everyone got drunk and local stores and bars would donate things to raffle off...bike stuff, stereos...you name it...a rider might pick up ten grand for this once a year party (and I went to a few...I went to one for Tom Steels when he was coming up...)...people would leave tips, the rider would even make money off of beer sales...other riders would be outside selling hot goods from dockworker friends outta their trunks in the parking lot...they would do whatever they had to to get by...

I can't imagine what goes on here...there is no community support for things like that via a local racer...it must be tough as hell..
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Cash05458 said:
I lived in Belgium for about a decade and rode with some guys who made it to the tour...not big stars...but ok...
It was interesting the way they got there...first off, they collected welfare or whatever sorta state support you might want to call it...and then whatever village they came from would support them in all sorts of ways...one by was having a support night for the rider...everyone got drunk and local stores and bars would donate things to raffle off...bike stuff, stereos...you name it...a rider might pick up ten grand for this once a year party (and I went to a few...I went to one for Tom Steels when he was coming up...)...people would leave tips, the rider would even make money off of beer sales...other riders would be outside selling hot goods from dockworker friends outta their trunks in the parking lot...they would do whatever they had to to get by...

I can't imagine what goes on here...there is no community support for things like that via a local racer...it must be tough as hell..
In the US, there are lots of amateur athletes in olympic sports who go through these types of situations to climb up the ranks. As they get to the upper levels of the sport, there are clubs that might be able to get them a stipend in the realm of what is talked about for lower level professionals.

What is sobering to me is the idea that people are paying a great amount of cash to get on a team. I guess some of that money will get them access to doctors? Sounds more like a situation for the privileged in society ($$)
 
Jun 19, 2009
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scribe said:
In the US, there are lots of amateur athletes in olympic sports who go through these types of situations to climb up the ranks. As they get to the upper levels of the sport, there are clubs that might be able to get them a stipend in the realm of what is talked about for lower level professionals.

What is sobering to me is the idea that people are paying a great amount of cash to get on a team. I guess some of that money will get them access to doctors? Sounds more like a situation for the privileged in society ($$)
The riders are doubly screwed, I'm afraid. The buyins are just that-the DS keeps it. Doctors are extra and the willingness to "do whatever necessary" is an implied condition. Really talented riders can get locked in small time teams making little to nothing until they either have a high-profile win or starve out of the sport. You are correct on club support as amateurs in the Pacific NW often fare better than pros. A few really good ones manage to get a solid pro ride but they're usually older than their Euro counterparts. They also take the risk that they may have no career to fall back on; which is true everywhere and every sport.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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scribe said:
In the US, there are lots of amateur athletes in olympic sports who go through these types of situations to climb up the ranks. As they get to the upper levels of the sport, there are clubs that might be able to get them a stipend in the realm of what is talked about for lower level professionals.
Don't forget all the part-time work they are given at The Home Depot! :rolleyes:
 
Jun 26, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
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.
LOL! Thats what we were doing 20 years ago. Are you telling me things haven't changed.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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craig1985 said:
Do riders have to pay tax on top of that 5k per year?

Alpe, we had something similar called WorkChoices[/url] 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 swould realise craig1985 realise that 90% of workchoices remains if the liberal left leaning media in Australia performed their jobs properly. By that I mean reporting the truth, not what suits their interests. Perhaps you believe the Rudd solved the global financial crisis? Kevie's wife, Therese Rein, company used work choice contracts on all employees and underpaid them on a per average salary basis when compared to other job placement businesses. Work choices for the large part where very good. The unions didn't like that they were becoming redundant. The old, if you tell a lie enough times it becomes the truth, reigns free in this matter. Good work by them, $100 million to fund Labor's advertising campaign and Labor keep the majority of Howards legislation. Use your brain in future or open your ears and eyes. If you can question cyclists riding clean then you should have no trouble questioning a politicians velvet dialogue and election advertising propaganda. Better yet sit through a macroeconomics lecture, you'll learn something useful.

If the woman mentioned is just getting $5000 per year as her entire income she doesn't even hit the tax free threshold in Australia. Why bother even submitting an income tax statement with the ATO (Australia) or IRS (USA) in that case. Witholding a legal definition of income, both assessable and statutory income (I have neither the time nor patience to explain tax legislation here) if the woman mentioned has received equipment (bike, helmet, clothing) as an accepted form of payment (payment in kind, transferrable and measurable) then those would constitute assessable income in Australia. However if she didn't and paid for them herself or other intermitent costs, then she may be able to claim deductions (meaning she can get money back from the tax office if she overpaid her tax). Also all winnings from races etc, that she is entitled to keep by her team, constitute taxable income if they put her over the tax free threshold. Don't ask me about the US legislation, I don't know the specifics, but they'd be fairly similiar from a ground level perspective, the thresholds and tax margins vary, but thats about it.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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Oldman said:
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.
Delusion is essential otherwise there would be no domestiques. If money is the only motivation then you probably aren't going far in the sport anyway. Its all about challenging yourself to emulate legendary characters and monumental battles. You survive however you can and if you become good enough to command your own price then you can consider yourself successful.
IMO its still better than being an annonymous factory worker. Ego is a powerful motivator.
 
Does anyone know what players in minor or farm leagues in other sports earn as a comparison? Because that's more what being a domestique in a low level cycling team is like. Eventhough they have the title professional I would categorize sports at that level more like the edge between amateur and professional sports.

Also in alot of olympic amateur sports atheletes usually have personal sponsorship deals if they are good enough so that they can focus full time on their sport. I haven't heard much about such deals in cycling. In those sports alot of countries have governtment programs that help finance the atheletes training as part of olympic programs for example which also helps them to not have to work on the side.

All in all being an athelete is not a luxury situation unless you are in the top echelon of your field. That's pretty much universal.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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ingsve said:
Does anyone know what players in minor or farm leagues in other sports earn as a comparison? Because that's more what being a domestique in a low level cycling team is like. Eventhough they have the title professional I would categorize sports at that level more like the edge between amateur and professional sports.
The average salary in the Canadian Football League is in the neighborhood of $45,000Cdn. The starters will receive between $60,000 and $120,000. Quarterbacks will get paid closer to $200,000 and sometimes more.

The average salary in the American Hockey League (where the NHL draws its prospects) is $60-70,000 per year.

Double A baseball players start at $1,500 a month and only during the season (five months). This according to CNN in 2003, so inflation might have raised this one a little, but it seems closest to the pro cycling experience.

Triple A players start at $2,150 a month and Single A start at $1,050.

Subsequent salaries invariably depend upon the quality of the prospect.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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beroepsrenner said:
Delusion is essential otherwise there would be no domestiques. If money is the only motivation then you probably aren't going far in the sport anyway. Its all about challenging yourself to emulate legendary characters and monumental battles. You survive however you can and if you become good enough to command your own price then you can consider yourself successful.
IMO its still better than being an annonymous factory worker. Ego is a powerful motivator.
Totally agree. I was mostly speaking to the definition of "Pro" that many with excess ego/talent want to ignore. I'm sure you've met the type. Again, that's why many US and Canadian Pros seem to be older when they hit the big stage. They are very serious and have paid the dues that go along with the longer maturation period. They want to make the best of the opportunity, like every; rider but it's a bigger dream going to Europe for them.
 
Jun 26, 2009
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There was a lot of hypocracy when pros and amateurs raced seperately. There were many bottom end pros not really earning a proper living from cycling and at the same time there were state sponsored amateurs well taken care of financially. There still exists a huge grey area between those that are true amateurs and those that earn large amounts.
My grandfather used to say that money was the ruination of sport. I think he just may have been right.
 
beroepsrenner said:
There was a lot of hypocracy when pros and amateurs raced seperately. There were many bottom end pros not really earning a proper living from cycling and at the same time there were state sponsored amateurs well taken care of financially. There still exists a huge grey area between those that are true amateurs and those that earn large amounts.
My grandfather used to say that money was the ruination of sport. I think he just may have been right.
he was right. money changes everything.:cool:
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Allow this to serve as your warning: Choosing to play for a living does not pay well, in cycling or pocket pool.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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I used to know one of the guys on US Postal who was local to the Chicago area, and actually worked as a letter carrier for the Post Office. They worked out his schedule to allow him to train. He was mostly a track and crit rider.
 

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