Reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome has pulled out of this year’s race because of the damage caused by a fall, but how much could the exit damage his earnings?
The cyclist last year pocketed almost half a million from his success in the Tour, including the biggest handout for winners of €450,000.
In addition to big money prizes for the winner and runners up, a total of €2m is distributed throughout the race for stage winners, best sprinters and climbers, and even the riders who finish between 91st and 160th place get a hand out of €400.
In 2013 Froome didn’t just win the Tour and the yellow jersey, he racked up three stage wins, 14 yellow jerseys across 20 stages, six king of the mountain polka dot jerseys and placed second overall best climber- totaling an additional €32,200 of prize money.
Tour de France 2014 main prize money
The winner of the Tour traditionally shares the grand prize winnings among the rest of the team, so its this additional prize money that Froome’s more likely to be missing from his pocket.
While that kind of money is around the average salary for a British worker, there’s no chance Froome will be late on his mortgage payments without the cash from this year’s race however.
Froome’s contract with Team Sky keeps him protected from any potential loss in earnings. The deal is estimated to be worth around £3m a year and ending in 2016, it gives Froome the opportunity to pursue another two Tour de France wins.
But when it comes to sponsorship opportunities the cycling star's deals don't quite compare to those found elsewhere in sport, and even within cycling Froome keeps a lower profile than fellow cyclist Bradley Wiggins. The public hasn’t quite placed him in national treasure status alongside Sir Wiggo’s sideburns yet.
Drew Barrand, associate director at sports marketing agency Pitch explains how sports stars have can have personality and sporting success which makes them attractive to brands, and while Wiggins has both, Froome is more reliant on the latter. "He's a quiet unassuming guy and doesn't generate as much attention off his own back. Not that sponsors don't want him, but he's more suited to high performance, safe and reliable messaging for a brand."
The majority of Froome’s sponsorship comes from his Team Sky deal, and he has said there is little room for other commercial activity outside of it.
The cycling team has 16 sponsors in addition to Sky, including other high profile brands such as Oakley and Jaguar. The luxury car brand can be seen supporting Froome’s cycle through the Channel Tunnel in a promotional video released earlier this week (watch it below).
Froome's exit from this year's peloton is unlikely to cause serious harm to existing sponsors, but the opportunity to attract a new commercial partnerships off of the back of a second yellow jersey win will now have to wait for another year.