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A Beginner’s Guide to Cycling Betting Online


It’s estimated that over half of the world’s population knows how to ride a bike, and some cycling races are among the largest sporting events on the globe. So, why isn’t this sport the number 1 choice for bettors? Maybe it’s time for that to change!

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Cycling – The History of the Sport

Although it seems like an ancient invention, the first bicycle was only invented in the 19th century. Nonetheless, as soon as the first bikes hit the roads, they became one of the preferred modes of the transportation of the time. It didn’t take long before first cycling competitions saw the light of the day. The first-ever cycling race happened in 1868 in Paris, France. It took place in one of Paris’ parks, while the first race between two cities was Paris–Rouen.  The French obviously have a rich cycling history, which is why it’s not surprising that the most iconic cycling race in the world is taking place in France every year. We’re talking about Tour de France, which is considered the world's biggest annual sporting event.

It’s also one of the sporting events with the longest tradition, having started back in 1903. And such, Tour de France is the absolute favorite of cycling bettors.

Cycling Betting Glossary

You might not be new to cycling, but you're probably new to online cycling betting. If so, here are some terms you'll probably come upon a lot once your cycling betting journey starts.

Velodrome Cycling

Velodrome is a French word meaning 'bike racecourse', which pretty much explains what velodrome racing is all about. These races take place on banked tracks, which can be anywhere from 150 to 500 meters (between 164 and 546 yards) in circumference.

Road Cycling

When people talk about bicycle racing, this is usually what they have in mind. This is an outdoor discipline in which cyclists cover huge distances over the course of many days or even weeks.

Stage Races

There are three types of races in road bicycle racing, namely individual time trials, single-day races, and stage races. Stage races are, by far, the most demanding, but also the most popular type of cycling races. And we’re not just talking about the popularity among spectators, we’re talking about bettors as well.

Grand Tours

Although there are literally hundreds of stage races happening every year, Grand Tours are the ones considered the most prestigious. There are only three races that bear the name the Grand Tour, namely Vuelta a Espana, Giro d'Italia, and Tour de France. Each of these races lasts for three weeks and attracts the cream of the crop of the world’s professional cyclists.

Types of Bets in Cycling

When it comes to betting markets, cycling does differ from other sports. Here are some cycling bet types you can make:

  • Race Winner – How it works is that you wager your money on the cycling whom you believe will finish the race before others. If he or she wins, you get the money.
  • Top 3 Finish – In a major cycling event such as the Tour de France, there are usually over 150 riders competing for the title. Guessing which one is going to finish the race first is not an easy task. This is why many bettors prefer wagering money that their pick will finish among the top three.
  • Team Classification – Cyclists don’t compete on their own; each one of them is a part of a larger cycling team. In the Grand Tour races, each team has eight riders. Betting on team classification basically means putting your money on eight riders at once.
  • Young Rider Classification – Some cycling sportsbooks also let you bet on which young rider will finish the race first. By ‘young’, they mean under 25 years or, in some cases, 23.

Major Cycling Events

Apart from the Grand Tours, there are dozens of minor competitions throughout the year. Almost every country in the world has its own bicycle competition, although not all the sportsbooks feature such events in their betting offers.

An event that’s guaranteed a place in the betting offer of almost all cycling bookies is the Olympics. And cycling has been an Olympic sport from day one. Since the first modern Olympics took place in 1896, road cycling has been a feature, while other types of races were added through the years.

In 2008, for example, BMX racing became a permanent feature, while the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will see BMX freestyle events for the first time in the history of the competition.

Cycling Betting Tips

Essentially most cycling bet tips and strategies are based on results, riders' recent form, injuries, and team tactics. Because road cycling is an outdoor sport, riders have to deal with all kinds of terrain over the course of an event. Some riders do better over the mountain courses, others specialize in flat road cycling.  

This is why the winner of one race can be a huge underdog in another race if the conditions don’t suit them well. Checking the riders' history on the track can give you a lot of insight on how they’re going to cope in the race.

Apart from checking individual statistics, it’s also important to check how the riders do as a team. A rider can’t do much if his teammates are not performing well.

A good method to see what to expect from a team is to check their UCI rankings. UCI stands for Union Cycliste Internationale, which is the governing body for all variants of sports cycling. If a team (or a rider) is ranking well on the UCI list, you will know it’s worth backing them.

Every journey begins with a single step and so should your cycling betting journey. Why wait any longer? Place a small bet right away to see how it goes!

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