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A Beginner’s Guide to Cycling Betting

In recent years, cycling has grown massively in popularity with more people than ever before following events such as the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. Not only is cycling an exciting sport to watch, but it can also be hugely exciting to bet on. There are many different types of events, each of which provides different betting opportunities.  

Don’t worry if you are completely new to cycling betting. In this guide, you will find all of the information you need, such as explanations of the different types of bets and the research you should be doing to help you pick a winner.  

Types of Cycling Events 

There are a number of different types of cycling competitions, and it is important to understand the difference between them.  

A good place to start is by looking at Olympic cycling events. They are split into four categories, track cycling, road cycling, mountain biking and BMX. It is the track and road cycling events that attract the most betting action. They are split into sprint and endurance races. Sprint races are of course about speed and see the cyclists compete over a small number of laps. Endurance races require cyclists to have stamina and they compete over far longer distances.  

There are also team cycling events, which sees the challenge shared by many cyclists. For example, there is a team sprint, which is a three-person time trial held over three laps in a velodrome. At the end of a lap, the leading cyclist pulls up the banking to make space for the next rider to lead the next lap.  

However, the most famous cycling events are probably the grand Tours of Europe. These are the Tour de France, Giro D’Italia and the Vuelta De Espana. They are the most prestigious cycling events and winning one of them is a true achievement for any rider. The tours are broken down into days, which are known as stages, and there are different types of stages: mountain, flat, and time trials. The riders must compete over all of these for different types of jerseys. The Yellow Jersey is the most famous; the leader of the Tour de France wears it. However, each of the events has a number of different jerseys that the riders compete for.  

There are various other types of cycling events, and this was just a brief overview of the main one. It is worth doing further research into each before placing bets on any of them.  

Popular Cycling Bets 

When you look at the betting markets available for a cycling event, you may feel slightly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice. The exact markets on offer will vary depending on the type of the event; however, these are some of the most popular across the various event types: 

  • Race Winner – This is the most straightforward bet and easy to use. You simply bet on which rider you think will win the race and if you are right, then you win your bet. 
  • Top 3 Finish – If you have a good feeling about a few different cyclists, but you are not sure which will win, then this is an excellent bet to use. It is simply a bet on a rider finishing in the top three places. It will have shorter odds than the winner bet, but you will have a better chance of winning. 
  • Top 10 Finish – This is very similar to the Top 3 Finish bet described above, but it covers even more places. As long as your chosen cyclist finishes in the top ten places, then you win your bet. Once again, the odds will be less generous than the winner market.  
  • Stage Betting – Rather than betting on the overall winner of a cycling race, if the event has multiple stages, then you can bet on the winners of individual stages. This can be a good bet to use if you think one rider is particularly good at a mountain stage or a time trial, but will not win the overall event.  
  • Futures Betting – Cycling, just like nearly all major sports, gives you the chance to place futures bets. These are bets that you place well in advance of an event taking place. For instance, you could bet on who will win an event such as the Tour de France months before it happens. The advantage of doing this is that the odds are likely to be very generous at this stage, even on the favourite riders. The closer you bet to an event, the shorter the odds become. On the other hand, by placing a bet months before, you will not know what form a rider will be in when the event arrives. Ultimately, it is up to you to find the right balance and the right time to place a bet.  
  • King of the Mountain – This is a very popular betting market in races that have mountain stages, such as the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. The King of the Mountain award is given to the cyclist that is the best overall climber of the event. This is simply a bet on which rider you think will be given the award at the end of the event.  
  • Young Rider Betting – This is another very popular event market. Normally it is a bet on which cyclist under the age of 25 will earn the most points throughout the different stages of an event.  
  • Head to Head Betting – Sometimes you may find head to head markets on offer. These markets pit individual riders or teams against each other and you simply bet on which you think will do better. The market may be on a particular stage in an event or it could be on the event as a whole. It is a great way for you to bet on your favourite riders without having to back them as overall winners.  

Cycling Betting Tips 

Ultimately, betting on cycling is really very straightforward. However, you do not want to be betting blind, and this is why it is important to do some research before placing your bets. There are many factors that you should try to consider when betting on cycling, and the more carefully you research them, the greater your chances are of winning your bets. That said, as with all sports, nothing is ever guaranteed, so even the best researched bets may still lose.  

As discussed earlier on, it is really important that you understand the different forms of cycling races. Before betting on a race, you need to make sure you know what form it takes, as this will be the basis of your research. Once you know what type of race it is, you can start looking at how the different cyclists have performed in that type of race in the past.  

Similarly, if it is a team competition, such as the Tour de France, then you need to look at the team as a whole as well as the individual riders. In these events, even outstanding riders will fail unless they have a strong team supporting them. While teams do change, you should be able to get a good idea of how they are operating by looking at the members and how they have performed in the past.  

Obviously, if you are betting on an individual stage then the individuals become more important than the teams. When betting on a mountain stage, you want to look at how that rider generally performs over climbs. You will also probably be able to see historical results for that exact stage, and this can also give you some valuable insights into how a rider will perform.  

Beyond the cyclists, you should also be looking at the weather forecasts. Some cyclists may not mind riding in the rain but others may struggle. Similarly, a hot day will affect different riders in different ways. You can cross-reference historical race results with weather reports to see if you can spot any trends in the data. 

Similarly, in the lead up to a major event and during the event itself, try to follow the press reports. Journalists can often give excellent insights and may also have some inside information that they then report. As such, the newspapers can be an incredibly valuable tool when researching your bets.  

Essentially, the more research you are able to do the better. For most people, betting on cycling will be a hobby, so you will probably not want to devote vast amounts of time to research. However, over time, you will find that you can build up a huge amount of knowledge just by following the sport, and all of this knowledge will help you to place more bets that are successful.  

As long as you do your best to place informed bets, you manage your bankroll properly, and you carefully consider which betting markets are the best for you to use, then you should have a great deal of fun betting on cycling, and hopefully, it won’t be long before you start placing numerous winning bets.  


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