Last Updated on June 11, 2023 by Emmanuel
Cyclist enthusiasts globally can’t wait to attend the Tour de France yearly racing event, hoping to see their favorite riders while visiting French cities.
Besides, many ask, “How can I participate internationally in the Tour de France?”
This article examines how to qualify for this most famous cycling event and others through professional cycling teams.
Table of Contents
Why are there teams in the Tour de France?
Road cycling typically requires team participation than individuals; one must belong to a team to qualify for participation.
Amaury Sport organizes the Tour de France (TdF) yearly by inviting the most performant professional teams wordwide.
Teams typically come from all over the world, except the African continent, which is underrepresented.
This tour has twenty-one stages requiring impressive organization and logistics challenging for an individual to accommodate.
Besides, professional teams participate annually in many major cycling races worldwide.
How does the team work in the Tour de France?
Taking the TdF 2022 example, there were twenty-two teams for a total of 176 riders, thus an average of eight riders per team.
Tadej Pogacar, the TdF 2020 and 2021 winner from the UAE Team Emirates, was expected to make history by winning a third yellow jersey.
However, Jonas Vingegaard from the Jumbo-Visma team surpassed him all over the race to become the winner.
Back to how teams work, on the TdF, each team has a leader, and all his teammates work together to make him win the race.
A team can also have many Yellow jerseys contenders resulting in many chances to win the race.
Besides a leader, teams have domestic cyclists to help the leaders throughout the race and lead them to success.
Those who assisted in the TdF 2022 remember how Wout van Aert, the Belgian sacrificed his chances to the detriment of Jonas Vingegaard.
Another essential rider in a team is the sprinter, the fastest cyclist to win the intermediate sprints.
A rider who earns the most points from the stage wins the green jersey, which is prestigious after the yellow jersey.
Furthermore, teams have time trail specialists and versatile cyclists who excel on not-too-flat and not-too-steep races.
Finally, behind each team is a support staff to handle the race’s logistical needs and ensure the cyclists get everything.
How do teams make money in the Tour de France?
Each TdF event would generate between $60m and $150m from different sources, including:
- TV broadcasting rights in more than 186 countries worldwide, collected by the Amaury Sports organization that organizes the tour.
- Advertising, jersey sponsorships, route sponsors, town hosting fees, and publicity caravan revenues.
- The yellow jersey winner receives winner gets 500,000 Euros, and the green jersey holder earns €128,000.
- A rider who wins a stage earns €11,000, while the award for the most aggressive cyclist is €56,000, etc.
We are unaware if these awards are the only ones the teams receive from the total revenues generated by the TdF yearly.
Some professional cyclists earn up to six million US dollars annually, believing that teams have other sources of income.
All awards in the Tour de France depend on the rider’s general classification.
How can I join the Tour de France?
There is no way to participate in the Tour de France individually, even if you are a crowned champion because this most famous cycling race is a team competition.
How much does sponsoring a cycling team cost?
Cycling teams usually earn money from sponsoring brands but don’t reveal the amount.
In 2012, the USADA found that Lance Armstrong and other teammates had been doping.
The case made some companies cease their sponsorships, but other bike sponsors stepped in to fill the gap, increasing the amount.
Besides the doping scandal, the US mountain bike market slowed down in the early 2000s.
It resulted in many brands changing their strategies and started selling road bikes.
Most also decided to promote their road bikes through cycling races, the TdF being the best choice.
The first US bike brand to sponsor the teams on the TdF was Cannondale; others like Giant, Trek, and Specialized followed.
This entry of new sponsors into the TdF led to an increase in sponsorship to around $2.6 million per team.
Finally, the Union Cyclist International (UCI) was formed in 2005 to replicate the concept of Formula 1 motor racing.
What is the cost of a Tour de France bike?
The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team uses the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7, whch costs $14,250.
Bauke Mollema and his teammates from the Trek–Segafredo team use the Trek Emonda SLR 9 bikes, which cost around $13,000 each.
Other teams use road bikes from big brands such as Cannondale, BMC, Giant, and Santa Cruz, which are costly.
The Tour de France has evolved since it started in 1903 and is now the most prestigious racing recent globally.
Each professional rider must join the TdF participating team to attend the annual racing event.
That’s what we can tell about how one can participate In the Tour de France internationally.
We hope this article is helpful and wish to continue living an enjoyable life.