Chris Froome’s move to Israel Start-up Nation after 11 seasons with Team Sky and Ineos Grenadiers has seen him become the highest-paid rider in the peloton, according to a league table of pro riders’ salaries compiled by L’Equipe and Het Nieuwsblad.
The four-time Tour de France winner, who continues to struggle to recapture his top form following his horrific crash in 2019, leapfrogs Bora-Hansgrohe’s Peter Sagan to top the table below (with 2020 positions in brackets) with an annual salary of €5.5m.
The biggest gain on the table was made by Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar, whose recent contract extension with UAE Team Emirates to 2026 takes him to €5m a year, the same as Sagan.
The table underline the financial clout of Ineos Grenadiers. With Froome – and on a reported €4.5m last year – having departed, 2018 Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas is now its highest paid rider, with a salary of €3.5m.
Five of the Welshman’s team-mates also make the list – with the advantage its huge budget gives it in attracting star names underlined by the fact that only two other teams, Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates, have more than one rider on the list.
There are four new entries on the list – Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, who both won their first Monuments last year after transferring their rivalry from cyclo-cross to the road, Adam Yates following his switch from Mitchelton-Scott to Ineos Grenadiers, and Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang.
Dropping out of the top 20 are Jumbo-Visma’s Tom Dumoulin, currently on an indefinite break from racing for mental health reasons, plus three – Fabio Aru, Greg van Avermaet, and Miguel Angel Lopez – who have moved onto new teams.
That demonstrates how switching teams can work both ways for a rider depending on where they are in their career, or how their recent results compare with those when they negotiated their last contract with their former employers – for example Aru, now with Qhubeka-Assos, has failed to follow-up his performances of several years ago when he won stages at all three Grand Tours and the overall title at the Vuelta.
Where a rider is in his current contractual cycle can also impact where they figure on the list. Eyebrows are bound to be raised by the fact that Primoz Roglic doesn’t even make the top 10 – likely to be a due to his last contract renewal with Jumbo-Visma, which runs through to the end of 2023 having taken place in summer 2019.
Since then, the Slovenian has won the Vuelta twice and the 2020 Liege-Bastogne-Liege and was runner-up in last year’s Tour de France, and his performances in the past couple of seasons stand well ahead of many of those above him, and had he been in a position to look at switching teams for this year, it’s likely he’d be close to or at the top of the list.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.