Bradley Wiggins didn’t do it for the money, but he made bank anyway.
Wiggins won the 2012 Tour de France in dominating fashion. He was in the lead for the final 14 stages of the competition. His payout is the cherry on top of a victory in cycling’s most prestigious Grand Tour.
Not only did the 32-year old Great Britain road racer finish the race wearing the yellow jersey, but according to Road Cycling, he won at least €450,000. That’s equivalent to $544,725 in the U.S. Wiggins was also eligible to win several bonuses.
If anyone is deserving of that type of pay day, it’s him. According to Jason Deans of The Guardian, Wiggins drew in a television audience of a whopping 3.6 million viewers on Sunday. ITV4 covered the event, and its numbers were up 140 percent compared to ratings the network has drawn over the past three months.
This year, Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France. His historic victory was memorable, not just for him, but the people around Wiggins.
After his triumph, he wrote a column in The Guardian about the entire experience. He said:
It's very difficult to sum up what I'm feeling in words. The thing that's struck me most over the last 12 hours or so is just what it means to other people around me, like my personal photographer breaking down in tears in my room, and my mechanic in tears as well: you just think hell, it's not just me who's gone through this, everyone else around me has lived it too.
In July, Wiggins reeled in an audience and their hearts. For that, he reeled in quite a payout.
When Wiggins attempts to win gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics for Great Britain in a few days, it’s safe to say that he’ll bring his own fans.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.