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Tour of Flanders champion Alberto Bettiol reveals what he bought with his winnings

Joe Robinson
18 Nov 2019

Some buy flashy cars, others buy expensive watches. Not Tour of Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol

Surprise Tour of Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol has revealed what he bought with his prize money. The Education First rider pocketed €20,000 for winning the Belgian Monument back in April, with that total likely being divided among his six teammates as well as staff.

On what he spent his winning, the Italian told Gazzetta dello Sport:'My gift to myself? I changed my car's wheels for €500.'

The jokey comment came while the Tuscany-native was making a more pertinent point about prize money and particularly the disparity for the women's peloton.

'The money has an effect, but you shouldn’t think about it. If you stop and watch how much you earn, maybe you don’t even go out and ride,' said Bettiol.

'The fact is that you earn with the contracts, not with the race winnings that are really low. The Flanders winner takes home only 20,000 euro. And it’s even worse for the women, Marta Bastianelli won only €1,265.

'An injustice because she struggled like me, if not more, and women’s cycling is now an established reality.'

The details of the 26-year-old's contract with Education First are not public information but it is unlikely that Bettiol is among the peloton's highest earners, especially considering the middling budget that his American team tend to operate on.

While Bettiol's wage, which would have included win bonuses, is unlikely to be sniffed at, the small prize money on offer for winning some of cycling's biggest races pales into significance when compared to other sports.

Take the recent Rugby World Cup in Japan. For England's winning heroics in the semi-final against New Zealand, each player earned a £41,000 bonus alongside their £25,000 appearance fee, a total over triple what Bettiol earned for winning Flanders.

If England had then gone onto win the final against South Africa, the Rugby Football Union would have paid each player £82,000, a total four-times what Bettiol bagged in April and 68 times what Bastianelli earned for the same ride.

A self-confessed 'mummy's boy', Bettiol is aware that big bonuses and healthy bank accounts are not everything, however. 

After winning solo in Oudenaarde after attacking on the Oude Kwaremont, dropping the likes of Peter Sagan and Mathieu van der Poel in the process, his performance was proof of what he can do as a rider and a thank you to those who have supported him up until now.

'Now I know I can fight on par with the best in the world,' said Bettiol. 'And with that win, I repaid – even if not entirely – my family, the team and the people who have always been close to me.'