How much does it cost to film a cycling race?

How much does it cost to film a cycling race?
Tom Pidcock sipping from his bottle during the Tour de France 2023

Recently drones have been making their debut at more and more races, and one might be curious, just how expensive is it to film cycling races? Are drones dropping the price of filming these races?

Surprisingly not by much. It only costs around €600 an hour to fly the helicopter that films the races, and if the race uses motorbikes those can each cost around a couple hundred each. So overall while the bill is in the low thousands per hour, it's not exceedingly expensive.

The data is transmitted more and more over 5G in recent times and hopefully the days of lost transmissions in the mountains (which RAI was notoriously known for) is less and less of an occurrence.

Drones, a recent addition to the filming repertoire, still require a skilled operator that costs money. It’s worth noting that rules have been put in place such that the drone is only allowed to fly laterally or behind the rider to avoid the rider crashing into the drone due to wind gusts or surges.