Peter Sagan and Chris Froome still top-paid male riders but Geraint Thomas is not far behind, according to reports

The list of highest earning riders includes a few surprises

Peter Sagan and Chris Froome remain cycling’s highest paid stars, according to reports, but Welshman Geraint Thomas is not far behind.

French newspaper L’Equipe (opens in new tab) has compiled a list of the 15-top paid riders from the men’s WorldTour peloton and there are a few surprises in there.

Former three-time world champion Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) holds the top spot with €5 million (£4.4 million), while seven-time Grand Tour winner Froome (Team Ineos) is not far behind on €4.5 million (£4 million).

But perhaps more surprising is third place in the ranking, Geraint Thomas who is on €3.5million (£3.1 million) if the reports are to be believed.

Thomas has built up an impressive palmarès during his 11 years with Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky), but his crowning achievement was a surprise victory in the 2018 Tour de France, which was quickly followed by a new three-year contract with the British WorldTour team.

Rising superstar and 2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) is the fourth biggest earner, according to L’Equipe with an estimated €2.7million income.

Other riders earning more than €2 million include Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates), Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo).

Slightly lower down the list, Nairo Quintana is now believed to be the 13th highest earning rider in the world, now on €1.9 million after his switch from Movistar to ProTeam Arkéa-Samsic.

>>> Chris Froome shares his thoughts on transfer rumours 

Winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia, Tom Dumoulin is also surprisingly low on the list, with an estimated salary of €1.9 million with Jumbo-Visma, slightly less than his new team-mate and Vuelta a España winner Primož Roglič, who makes an estimated €2 million.

Cycling's highest paid riders, according to L'Equipe 

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), €5 million

2. Chris Froome (Team Ineos), €4.5 million

3. Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) €3.5 million

4. Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) €2.7million

5. Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates), €2.6 million

6. Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos) , €2.5 million

7. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) €2.3 million

8. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), €2.2 million

9. Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), €2.1 million

10. Richard Carapaz ( Team Ineos), €2.1 million

11. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), €2 million

12. Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), €2 million

13. Nairo Quintana (Arkèa-Samsic) €1.9 million

14. Elia Viviani (Cofidis), €1.9 million

15. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma), €1.8 million

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.