Looking at the article 10 in this
document, the highest minimum for Pro Team is 36 300€, so basically $50k. If you have most of your costs covered by the team and don't have a family, that's not too bad. Add family to the mix and the fact that pushing to that level makes it very difficult to study and prepare for life after the potentially short professional career. You definitely will not be saving any money at that income level.
I work for a global company and our US sales people start at $45k base and in 2013, average commission was little over $60k. Being a sales person in our organization is an easy job with good job security even over the past 5 years. Some of the people in sales positions, who started at the same time with me, are making quite a bit more than the starting salary and average commission. Benefits are average in our industry with the exception of very good plan to support people pursuing graduate degrees for career development.
I also chased the pro "dream" for a while, but was luckily so lazy and lacking talent, that I was able to pull the plug on this plan before getting into bigger trouble. I know few guys who were top amateurs and low(er) level professional for 5-10 years and finding a career or even a job after the cycling thing ends has been challenging to say the least. You have to be quite good to get to the 36-50k€ salary bracket and even at that point you are basically living paycheck to paycheck unless you get into price money often enough. So yeah, professional cyclist doesn't make much money, but they do have a pretty cool job in my opinion.
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