Tour de France vs Wimbledon

I don’t follow professional tennis, but I guess this past weekend Wimbledon was taking place.  I personally was only interested in the Tour de France in the world of sports viewing.

So how does the Tour compare to a premier tennis event like Wimbledon?  Well, this infographic shows the differences in prize money.  It’s hard to believe that someone who busts their butt on a bike for 23 days gets only a fraction of the person who wins a week long tennis tournament.

The guys from Road Cycling UK have put together another nice graphic.

Wimbledon vs. Tour de France prize money comparison

  • DunkinDave

    I agree that the comparisons are a little harsh, but your points you picked up on are a little odd.

    - How much does a player that goes out in the first round of Wimbledon get? (I’m under the impression its a lot more than even a stage winner) There are no prizes for surviving to the next stage….
    - Having a team means more people are working for less surely? It’s not per rider….
    - This is fair actually although Tommy Haas is 35 and made the 4th round this year.
    - Citation needed. Geraint Thomas is still racing the tour despite breaking his pelvis on stage 1…. crashes are brutal and regular.

    I actually agree with you, endorsements probably dwarf prize money and they are different sports, but if you feel this demonstrates popularity more than anything else then say that.

    • mailtocuriousyellow

      What points do you want to be picked up? As an athlete defeat is the most crushing thing you’ll experience next to your career being cut short by injury.

      Stage winner at the TdeF gets about 10k Euros I think. Not far off what a first round loser gets at Wimbledon, but with cycling you’ve got a lot of roles you can fill without ever really having that pressure on you to win. With tennis, you have to win. There are no prizes for a combative loser, or a loser who’s really good at returning serves, or the best loser under a certain age.

      Teams = staff. You can travel with a cook, driver etc. On the ATP/WTA tour, you’re all alone. At least before you make the megabucks and can travel with a team. Also, let’s not forget things like economies of scale that are available to big cycling teams. Sky have access to people like Sky IQ to crunch data for them and pretty much everyone at British Cycling and 10s of staff members to support the team around the world. A newly minted pro on the tennis circuit has him/herself, and maybe a coach if they’re fortunate. They’re their own travel agent, cook, cleaner, admin assistant, sports psychologist, nutritionist, everything.

      Haas never won a major and probably never will. He’s not a top 10 player either at the moment. Wiggins, Evans and other riders in their early 30s have won the TdeF which is arguably the pinnacle of cycling achievement.

      Here are your citations for injuries off the top of my head.

      Nadal – Knee shot for the last 3 years. Comeback this year and not the player he was.

      Federer- Back is now starting to give out. Hope to the Gods it’s not going to be the reason he has to leave the game, but we’ll never know.

      Murray – Struggled with back problems earlier in his career. Still plays with quite a lot of foot support.

      Agassi – Pretty much a cripple without regular cortisone injections towards the end of his career.

      Hingis – Probably the best women’s player of her generation. Had to leave the game due to ligament injury at 22.

      Safin – Arguably the most talented player of his generation. Knee injuries and surgery meant he never won a slam afterwards.

      Also, with the game getting longer and more of the season being on hard courts means knee, foot, ligament and tendon injuries are just a matter of time unlike cycling. Thomas is racing on a fractured pelvis which according to the doctors will not get worse if he keeps riding. The French bloke with a broken collarbone, well, I’m sure it hurts, but you don’t ride on your shoulder and he was never going to win. All he was aiming to do was complete the tour. They can grin and bear it. However, playing tennis under those conditions is impossible.

      I guess what I’m trying to say is a cyclist is an endurance athlete in a non-contact, non-weight bearing sport and rarely experiences a career ending injury. A tennis player is more akin to a footballer. Could you imagine Djokovic without the footspeed? Federer without the enigmatic serve? Nadal without those powerful groundstrokes? All of those things are a single injury away from being lost and injury is more an eventuality than a possibility.

      I’ve also in a roundabout way stated that endorsements are about popularity due to the money in the endorsement contracts. The sponsors aren’t stupid. They’ll pay out to the sport that’ll give them the most exposure. For example, pretty much everyone will have heard about Wimbledon, but how many people know that the TdeF is in its 100th year this year, or what the other major tours are?

  • mailtocuriousyellow

    Flawed comparison really. And I say this as a former tennis player who is now a cyclist.

    - If you lose your first round match then you’re out. You can lose a stage and live to ride another day at the Tour.
    - You have team support in the tour while you ride. On court, you’re all alone.
    - A tennis player’s career during his peak is maybe 6 years long. 8 if you’re Roger Federer. How long has Jens Voigt been cycling now? It’s not uncommon for cyclists to have careers into their early forties.
    - Tennis players are at higher risk for injuries.

    Also, this is more subjective, but tennis is more fun to watch for an armchair sports fan while road cycling is more for participants in the sport. Ultimately prize money is dictated by what the sponsors think it’s worth and I’m pretty sure that like tennis, in cycling, the endorsement money dwarfs prize money by an order of magnitude.

    I do like this blog, but comparisons like this will drive you crazy.

    • http://www.lovingthebike.com Darryl

      We didn’t create the graphic, but thought it was pretty interesting. All pro athletes are amazing and it wasn’t intended to take anything away from those competing at Wimbledon.
      Thanks for your comments on this one and glad to hear you like our site.