While the Tour de France yellow jersey is one of sport’s most fabled prizes, there was more than just prestige up for grabs at the 108th edition of the race this year.
Alongside the yellow, green, polka dot and white jerseys, the Tour de France had a €2,288,450 prize pot to give out in 2021.
This included a €500,000 overall prize for champion Tadej Pogačar (Team UAE Emirates), although the Slovenian accumulated a total of €610,770 throughout the course of the race for stage wins, placings on stages and climbs, and long spells in the polka-dot and white jerseys.
Riders can earn money from all the main prizes, as well as on categorised climbs, intermediate sprints or even just finishing within the first 160 classified riders in the race.
All Tour de France teams have different formulas for sharing the prize money, but usually it’s put into a pot and divided between every rider (and often staff) on the team at the end of the race. Cycling is a team sport with individual winners, after all.
Here’s how the 2021 Tour de France prize money was broken down.
Tour de France stage winner prize money
The winner of every stage earned €11,000 in 2021, as well as a place on the podium at the end of the day.
Second-place was worth half that, €5,500, while the rider in third raked in €2,800.
In fact, every rider down to 20th place (€300) earned a share of the €28,650 on offer each day.
Here’s the full breakdown for each individual stage classification.
Tour de France yellow jersey prize money
If winning the stage also puts a rider into the yellow jersey, there was an extra €500 up for grabs, with the same prize on offer for each day a rider wore the maillot jaune.
That, however, is small fry compared to the main prize pot for the general classification.
The rider in the yellow jersey on the final podium in Paris in 2021 won €500,000, with Pogačar taking the spoils in this year’s race. The prize increased in 2016 and has remained the same since.
Second place went to Jonas Vingegaard, netting him €200,000, with Richard Carapaz coming in third and taking home €100,000.
Each rider from fourth to 19th receives increasingly smaller amounts, and everyone from 20th place to 160th is awarded €1,000 for completing the 3,414km race from Brest to Paris.
Here’s a full breakdown of the prize money awarded to the ten overall fastest riders in 2021.
- €500,000 (Tadej Pogačar)
- €200,000 (Jonas Vingegaard)
- €100,000 (Richard Carapaz)
- €70,000 (Ben O’Connor)
- €50,000 (Wilco Kelderman)
- €23,000 (Enric Mas)
- €11,500 (Alexey Lutsenko)
- €7,600 (Guillaume Martin)
- €4,500 (Peio Bilbao)
- €3,800 (Rigoberto Uran)
Tour de France King of the Mountains prize money
A day in the King of the Mountains jersey was worth €300, while the top eight in the final mountains classification are recompensed at the end of the race.
The overall winner received €25,000, while second place got €15,000.
Pogačar also took the King of the Mountains prize in 2020, as well as securing overall victory and, by default, the best young rider.
Here’s a full breakdown of the prize money awarded to the top eight finishers in the mountains classification in 2020.
- €25,000 (Tadej Pogačar)
- €15,000 (Wouter Poels)
- €10,000 (Jonas Vingegaard)
- €4,000 (Wout van Aert)
- €3,500 (Nairo Quintana)
- €3,000 (Richard Carapaz)
- €2,500 (Ben O’Connor)
- €2,000 (Bauke Mollema)
Tour de France climbs prize money
It’s not all about the final classification and the polka dot jersey – each climb at the Tour de France has a prize on offer at the top.
For ‘hors categorie’ and first-category climbs, the first three over the summit earn prize money; on second-category ascents, it is the top two and on third and fourth-cat climbs it is just the first rider over.
The 2021 Tour de France contained 27 climbs categorised as second category or above – with five in the top HC category. There were also 10 category three and 23 category four ascents.
The five HC climbs were worth €800 to the first across, €450 to the second and €300 to the third. The 13 category-one mountains offered €650, €400 and €150 respectively.
|||HC||1st category||2nd category||3rd category||4th category|
|1st||€ 800||€ 650||€ 500||€ 300||€ 200|
|2nd||€ 450||€ 400||€ 250||n/a||n/a|
|3rd||€ 300||€ 150||n/a||n/a||n/a|
For second-category mountains or hills, the first rider across received €500 and the second €250, while it was €300 to cross a third-category climb first and €200 to be the first over a fourth-category ascent.
Riders can also boost their pay packets further by being the first across the highest point of the race. In 2021, the Souvenir Henri Desgrange was awarded to the first rider at the top of the 2,408m port d’Envalira on stage 15. That added €5,000 to the kitty of Nairo Quintana this year.
The Souvenir Jacques Goddet (€5,000) is offered to the first rider to reach the top of the Col du Tourmalet. The prize went to Pierre Latour in 2021.
Tour de France points classification prize money
As with the polka dot jersey, a day in the green jersey in 2021 was worth €300 – so that’s a lot of prize money that has headed Peter Sagan’s way in his Tour de France career. Even more so when you consider the €25,000 top prize for winning the points classification overall, which Sagan managed in seven of the eight years from 2012 to 2019.
However, Irish sprinter Sam Bennett ended Sagan’s run in the green jersey in 2020 and Mark Cavendish made a triumphant return to green in 2021.
The top eight in the final points classification all win prizes, 2021 looked as follows:
- €25,000 (Mark Cavendish)
- €15,000 (Michael Matthews)
- €10,000 (Sonny Colbrelli)
- €4,000 (Jasper Philipsen)
- €3,500 (Wout van Aert)
- €3,000 (Matej Mohoric)
- €2,500 (Julian Alaphilippe)
- €2,000 (Tadej Pogačar)
That’s exactly in line with the mountains classification.
Each intermediate sprint – one on each of the 20 road stages – was worth €1,500, €1,000 and €500 for the first three riders through.
These prizes are often swallowed up by the breakaway, with the sprinters keeping their powder dry for the stage finishes – the prize money for the top 20 on each stage is detailed at the top of this article.
Tour de France young rider classification prize money
A €300 prize is also up for grabs for each day in the white jersey of best young rider (in other words, for the 2021 race, those riders born on or after 1 January 1996).
In addition, the highest-placed young rider on each stage can claim a €500 daily prize.
The top four riders in the final young rider classification also win prizes. In 2021, €20,000 was up for grabs for the winner with the prize money decreasing by €5,000 for each position in the top four.
In 2020, at 21 years old, Pogačar became the youngest Tour de France winner since 1904, winning the race overall and securing the white jersey, as well as the yellow and polka-dot jerseys.
- €20,000 (Tadej Pogačar)
- €15,000 (Jonas Vingegaard)
- €10,000 (David Gaudu)
- €5,000 (Aurélien Paret Peintre)
Tour de France team classification prize money
The top-placed team on each stage – calculated by the cumulative time of each team’s three fastest finishers – claims a further €2,800 in prize money.
Those daily times are all added up to form the overall team classification, and the top-five teams at the end of the race also win big.
Here’s a full breakdown of the prize money awarded to the five highest-ranking teams at the end of the Tour de France in 2021.
- €50,000 (Bahrain Victorious)
- €30,000 (EF Education – Nippo)
- €20,000 (Jumbo – Visma)
- €12,000 (Ineos Grenadiers)
- €8,000 (AG2R Citroen Team)
Most aggressive rider classification (combativity prize)
There is one final prize at the Tour de France, with race judges picking their most aggressive rider in each of the first 18 road stages (so every stage except the two time trials and the final stage) to win the combativity prize.
The previous day’s winner can be spotted by their red race number on the following stage, but they will also be €2,000 richer.
At the end of the race, a Super Combatif award is also handed out – worth €20,000.
Sunweb’s Marc Hirschi took the 2020 prize with Frank Bonnamour taking the 2021 prize.
How does Tour de France prize money compare to other sports events?
While €500,000 (approx £432,500) for winning the yellow jersey is nothing to be sniffed at, the amount on offer for winning cycling’s greatest race is still comparatively low when placed alongside other sports.
PDC world darts champion Peter Wright took home £500,000 (around €577,000) when he beat Michael van Gerwen at the Alexandra Palace on New Year’s Day in 2020.
In horse racing, the Epsom Derby winner receives £637,998 (around €737,000) and the men’s and women’s singles champions at Wimbledon received £1.7 million (~€1.96 million) each in 2021.
Still, the most fabled prize in cycling is not something to turn your nose up at – prize money or not.