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€3.5 million up for grabs in Tour de France

The 2010 Tour de France podium

The 2010 Tour de France podium (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

There is a lot at stake for the riders of the Tour de France: fame, glory, prestige - but on top of that is a total prize purse of nearly €3.5 million.

Cash prizes exist for almost every rider who finishes the race when it hits Paris on July 24. The prizes for the final general classification start at €450,000 for the winner, €200,000 for the runner-up, €100,000 for the third spot and on down to €400 for 91st-150th place.

Every time a rider dons that yellow jersey after a stage, he's also putting €7,000 in his pocket. Yet even with all of the daily bonuses and prizes in Paris, the general classification only uses up €1,005,000 of the overall purse.

Stage winners earn €8,000, but there are more reasons for a rider to keep sprinting even if he's not going to win, as not only do the points on a flat stage go down to 15th place, the cash goes down to 20th.

When you see Mark Cavendish gunning for an intermediate sprint, it isn't just that he's competing for the 20 points available for first place, he also stands to earn €1,500 - plus an additional €6,000 per day if he pulls on the green jersey of points classification winner. If he can hold that green jersey to Paris? That's another €25,000 in it for him, but even the 8th place rider in that competition gets paid.

The same goes for the mountains classification - there are hundreds of euros up for grabs atop the 51 classified climbs (9 HC, 5 category 1, 9 category 2, 14 category 3 and 14 category 4) - from €800 for a hors categorie summit to €200 for a category 4. The best climber on the day gets €6,000 and overall top mountain man will get €25,000 in Paris.

There are two extra prizes on tap again this year: the Souvenir Jacques Goddet, named for the Tour's director of 50 years, which is given to the first rider to crest the Col du Tourmalet, and the Souvenir Henri Desgrange at the race's highest peak, the Col du Galibier - each of which is worth €5,000.

Should Tejay Van Garderen or any other rider under 26 years of age pull on the best young rider's jersey on a stage, he'll pocket €6,000. To win the maillot blanc overall would net a rider €20,000.

If a rider like Amets Txurruka attacks like crazy and gets the day's prize for most aggressive rider, he would receive a bonus of €2,000 for the day, and to be deemed most aggressive overall? It's as lucrative as winning the best young rider's jersey - €20,000.

There are extra incentives this year for teams: the winning squad earn €10,000 for the team time trial stage, the best team on a normal stage gets €2,800 and in addition, there is a bonus for teams which finish with more than six riders: €1,600 per rider that finishes! That is on top of a generous €51,243 paid to each team for "participation expenses".

The overall purse, depending on how many teams finish with seven or more riders, is upwards of €3.5 million, which seems like a lot, but considering the winners of the French Open tennis tournament wins €1.2 million each, cycling is still low on the sports pay-out ranking.

Individual Stages:
1st 8,000€
2nd 4,000€
3rd 2,000€
4th 1,200€
5th 830€
6th 780€
7th 730€
8th 670€
9th 650€
10th 600€
11st 540€
12nd 470€
13rd 440€
14th 340€
15th 250€
16th-20th 200€

Team Time Trial
1st 10 000€
2nd 5 000€
3rd 2 500€
4th 1 000€
5th 800€
6th 700€
7th 600€
8th 600€
9th-11th 500€
12th-15th 300€
16th-17th 250€
18th-20th 200€

Overall GC
1st 450,000€
2nd 200,000€
3rd 100,000€
4th 70,000€
5th 50,000€
6th 23,000€
7th 11,500€
8th 7,600€
9th 4,500€
10th 3,800€
11st 3,000€
12nd 2,700€
13rd 2,500€
14th 2,100€
15th 2,000€
16th 1,500€
17th 1,300€
18th 1,200€
19th 1,000€
20th 950€
21st 900€
22nd 850€
23rd 750€
24th 700€
25th 650€
26th-30th 600€
31st-40th 550€
41st-50th 500€
51st-90th 450€
91st-150th 400€

Daily Prizes
Yellow jersey: €7,000
Green/white/polka dot jersey: €6,000
Best young rider per stage: €500
Best team per stage: €2,800
Most aggressive rider per stage: €2,000

Intermediate Sprints
1st 1,500€
2nd 1,000€
3rd 500€

Points/Mountains classification final
1st 25,000€
2nd 15,000€
3rd 10,000€
4th 4,000€
5th 3,500€
6th 3,000€
7th 2,500€
8th 2,000€

HC climb (9):
1st 800€
2nd 450€
3rd 300€

Cat. 1 climb (5):
1st 650€
2nd 400€
3rd 150€

Cat 2. climb (9):
1st 500€
2nd 250€

Cat. 3 climb (14):
1st 300€

Cat. 4 climb (14):
1st 200€

Souvenir Jacques Goddet : 5 000€
Souvenir Henri Desgrange : 5 000€

Best young rider overall:
1st 20,000€
2nd 15,000€
3rd 10 000€
4th 5,000€

Final teams classification
1st 50,000€
2nd 30,000€
3rd 20,000€
4th 12,000€
5th 8,000€

Participation expenses, per team: €51,243
Teams finishing with seven or more riders get €1,600 per rider.

Most aggressive rider overall: €20,000

Total (estimated): €3,412,546

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