Cycling Sports

Survey of the Belgian profwielrenners: half of the peloton can’t live of his wages

One in five that are less than 2,000 euros gross per month earn, contracts usually no longer than two years, and after the active career not be able to retire. No, it is not all gold that glitters in the race, according to a survey that sportvakbond Sporta allowed to run under the Belgian cyclist. The top riders in the World Tour earn well their living, including the often struggling to survive. ‘In the cycling world it is the law of the jungle: the weak must get out.’

Large gender pay gap, and yet it is 60 percent satisfied

Or you can become rich in the world of cycling? That depends. More than half of the riders indicates that they per month is less than 4,000 euros gross earn …

Large gender pay gap, and yet it is 60 percent satisfied

Or you can become rich in the world of cycling? That depends. More than half of the riders indicates that they per month is less than 4,000 euros gross earning. One-fifth of the platoon should even with less than 2.000 euros.

But: there are big differences. Thus, cycling teams divided in three categories: World Tour (similar to the Champions League in football), procontinentaal (similar to the first class) and continental (similar to the second class). Sixty percent of the riders who are active in the World Tour earn more than 10,000 euros gross per month, on procontinentaal level is an amount between 2,000 and 4,000 euro, but especially in the continental teams is the poverty factor. There must be more than half of the riders to dig with a gross monthly wage of less than 2,000 euro. A world of difference with the football, where the average player is 30,000 euros per month opstrijkt. So it is not surprising that four in ten riders indicate that they are without income of his partner and his family can’t maintain.

Stijn Boeykens, secretary at sportvakbond Sporta, see various causes. “There is simply not much money to earn in the sport of cycling,” he says. “While in the football tv money, recettes and transfergeld come, alive the cycling is almost only of the money of sponsors. That few money also goes further, especially towards the top and that makes for a great loonspanning.’

In addition to that wage, there is of course also the prize money, but also will, Belgian cyclist not to be rich. For 80 percent of them make that perk less than 10 percent of their total compensation. However, 90 percent of the riders to be satisfied with his wages.

According to ex-rider, -sports director and wielercommentator José De Cauwer must be a big distinction to be made between World Tour and procontinentale teams on the one hand, and continental teams, on the other hand. ‘In that last category, you may not be too long to dwell. That can actually only if you are young, the end of your career is approaching, or for example, if you come back after an injury. You have to stay still in that category, hang out, then you have to start to wonder whether you are pro supposed to be. In football, you can still at a lower level go play in, say, the first provincial what start making money, but in the course, it is all or nothing. Who is good enough, is revived. For example, look at Oliver Naesen. That first ran on the continental level at Cibel, stepped over to the procontinentale Sport Vlaanderen and are now with AG2R-La Mondiale in the World Tour.’

A maximum of two years contract

The modest income of the average rider is one thing, the duration of the contract a other. A whopping 89 percent of the riders has a contract for up to two years. “The main reason? The sponsors, who are often only for a short-term commitment,” says Boeykens. “The teams need to be sure that the money continues to pour in, because otherwise they must pay the wages. That brings for the riders, of course, a lot of uncertainty.’ That sponsorship is the lifeblood of the teams is also evident from the fact that half of the riders know someone who has a contract in return for sponsorship money. ‘In that case means that the sponsor is that the wages of that rider wears. In addition, you could make some extra money be asked for the ploegwerking. So are usually the last places in the team are filled.’

De Cauwer will find that short term is not strange. ‘You sit in the sport, hey, and not just in a jobke. I know there are quite a few that perform much better as the end of their contract approaches. Moreover, you’re again with a younger generation that have a place in the profpeloton wants to conquer. In the course applies the law of the jungle: the weak should always.’

There is the broker

Sixty percent of the riders who will negotiate a new contract, does that on the side of a real estate agent. The higher the level at which one competes, how often that actually is the case. So a whopping 90 percent of the World Tour riders to call on a broker. That should (in principle) of the collective bargaining conduct and all practical concerns – such as the contact of materiaalsponsors – taking. He gets usually between five and seven percent of the salary of the rider. Remarkably, in contrast to the soccer ball pay a rider his real estate agent almost always, and the team never between.

There is no black money at the highest level

Black money in football may perhaps be rife, even in the world of cycling. Or at least think that more than forty percent of the surveyed riders. We look only at the responses of the continental riders, it rises even up to 74 percent. And that, to the surprise of managers and team leaders of the World Tour teams, who believe that at the highest level, everything will soon be checked.

Less surprised reacts the peloton again on the observation that half of the riders says know of colleagues who have their contract enforced by themselves a sponsor to the team, as often happens in Formula 1.

After the bike trailer

“What should I after my active career?’ It would be a logical question should have been, but for a large part of the riders, that is not the case. So is career guidance – that a rider of his way to help search in the professionals – not spent on 60 percent of the peloton. That does not quite come as a surprise, since 85 percent indicates also the end of their final course actively want to remain in the world of cycling, for example, as a sports director. Yet, that is not self-evident, because the places are expensive. “But cycling is like a virus, eh’, concludes De Cauwer. “You’re rolled as a young person, a hobby became a profession, and so on. Many riders continue following their career but love to be active in the world.’

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