Cycling is one of the most popular sports in the world, but that doesn’t mean online betting on cycling is not an exciting and potentially profitable journey. In this article, we will look at everything you need to know about betting on cycling and touch on 4 key points, including:
- Where to find the best cycling betting sites?
- Which cycling bet types are available?
- How to read the latest cycling odds?
- What are interesting facts about cycling and the cycling betting world?
List of the Best Cycling Bookmakers
Before placing your first cycling bet, you must register on a sportsbook that accepts your wagers. That is very simple, mainly because most online sportsbooks and all reputable bookies offer cycling betting markets.
However, even though it’s simple to find a sportsbook with cycling betting odds, you have to take your time before you make your choice, do some research and pick only between the best cycling betting sites. You must mainly focus on the quality of cycling odds and the depth of cycling betting markets.
Besides the 2 key things any cycling betting site should have, it also helps if the sportsbook offers in-play betting, has a mobile betting app, and occasional betting promotions. If you find a bookie that checks those marks, you have located a solid sportsbook for betting on cycling.
Cycling Betting Bonuses & Offers
Betting promotions, bonuses, and other offers are not the most important feature you should look for in sportsbooks. But it certainly helps if the bookie you’re using has an occasional bonus.
Various bonuses, free bets, and other promotions are the best and easiest ways to get extra value for your money. With free bets, you’re essentially given a chance to profit without risking anything, while bonus deposits award you free betting money.
Bonuses will usually be available during big races such as Tour de France or Giro d’Italia; however, some cycling betting sites will also offer minor races.
Know that the bonuses will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook, and very few bookies will have the same selection of betting promotions. So it is advisable to check which bookies have the best bonuses before making your choice.
Also, remember to check the terms and conditions. If you’re cycling betting in the USA and using a European bookie, you might not be eligible for the same bonuses as a bettor from Europe and vice versa. Some bookies where you can expect solid cycling bonuses no matter where you live include William Hill and Paddy Power but know that those are just 2 of many sportsbooks with great betting promotions.
How Does Cycling Betting Work
Cycling is a very demanding sport for riders and bettors, who have a lot to learn before they can consistently find winning bets. But while it takes time and dedication to become good at betting on cycling, knowing how cycling betting works is pretty straightforward.
Cycling betting is not that different from gambling on any other sport, so if you have a basic understanding of how online betting operates, you should be set. The only things you need to know before placing your first cycling bet are how to read odds, understand each bet type, and familiarize yourself with the kind of cycling you want to bet on.
Cycling betting odds and markets will be readily available on most sportsbooks, and if you check how the odds look, you will soon realize that they’re not that much different from odds on other sports. The same rules apply mainly; the lower the odds, the higher the implied probability the bet has to hit.
But besides that, you also need to remember one thing – bookmakers will offer different odds on the same race. That is not intentional but rather a result of each bookie getting its odds from various odds providers.
It creates a situation where Primož Roglič can be priced at 4/1 to win the Tour de France at William Hill, but he could be priced as high as 5/1 with Betway. As a bettor, you must keep an eye out for these odds differences and bet with only the bookie that offers you the best price.
And the sooner you realize that having accounts with multiple bookies to exploit these price gaps is beneficial to your online betting experience, the sooner you’ll set yourself up for success.
Different Types of Cycling Sports
Most sportsbooks will offer cycling betting odds on the road cycling events, as those are the most popular in the sport. However, it is important to know that road cycling is just one of many types of sport that include slightly less popular track races and mountain biking.
When we talk about road cycling and its events, we mostly refer to tour cycling, the most famous aspect of professional cycling. If you’re not a diehard fan of cycling and just a casual fan of the sport, road cycling is possibly the only form of cycling competition you know of.
Road cycling events take place on various roads across the world. The competitions are often divided into multiple stages and usually take several days and weeks. Most notably, the Grand Tour races traditionally happen over 3 or more weeks, which is the main characteristic differentiating road cycling from other cycling sports.
Moreover, road cycling features bikes made for riding on the road, unlike track cycling and mountain biking, which use special bikes suited for indoor and mountain tracks.
Track cycling is a sport that sees riders competing around banked oval-shaped tracks (velodromes) rather than on outdoor roads. Track cycling is, by its nature, very fast, and each race ends a lot faster than a traditional road race.
Besides that, it’s important to note that track cycling is divided into 3 groups – sprint, endurance, and combined – and it’s further divided into several disciplines. Those include:
- Time Trial Cycling
- Omnium Cycling
- Sprint Cycling
- Team Sprint Cycling
- Keirin Cycling
Mountain bike racing is similar to traditional road cycling, but it has some differences, mainly with the type of bikes the riders use and the tracks on which they compete. Unlike road racing, which happens on the road, mountain bike events happen on mountain courses which are far more dangerous.
- Mountain biking is further divided into:
- Dirt Jumping
- Free Ride
- Trail Riding
Interestingly, mountain biking has been included in the Summer Olympics since 1996. Other popular mountain biking events are CI MTB World Championships, Enduro World Series, and the UCI World Cup Series.
Most Popular Cycling Competitions
If you check the latest cycling odds and available markets, you will soon realise that there are many cycling events and competitions you can bet on. There are enough to keep you busy throughout the season, yet only a few stand out as the most popular.
Here we will check the most popular cycling events for most viewers and bettors. And it all starts with the 3 Grand Tours.
Tour de France
All Grand Tour races are prevalent, but the Tour de France is easily the most famous cycling race in history. Divided into 21 stages with a distance of over 3.5 kilometers, Tour de France offers an incredibly tough challenge for the riders and the ultimate test of skill.
Likewise, the Tour de France offers a proper test for any cycling punter making his predictions on the race. Although finding a winner is difficult, any online cycling betting site will have plenty of markets you can use to locate smart bets.
From in-play to stage betting, wagering on the King of the Mountain, and more. The Tour de France betting experience is diverse and includes all cycling betting markets.
Giro d’Italia is one of the most recognisable sports events in the world and one of the most popular cycling events of the year. As one of the 3 Grand Tour races, Giro d’Italia is also one of the most demanding events on the cycling schedule.
The event features 21 separate stages, and it takes place across 3 weeks, welcoming some of the world’s best riders who compete for the prestigious title. As an event that takes place over 3 weeks, Giro d’Italia also offers plenty of betting opportunities, mainly for those who enjoy in-play betting on cycling and those who like to bet on separate stages.
The race traditionally starts in May, but its route can change yearly. So when you’re betting on the Giro d’Italia and looking through men’s cycling odds, remember that the route might be much different from how it was a year prior.
Vuelta an España
Vuelta an España is the third and final Grand Tour of the season, and just like Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, it’s prevalent among viewers and cycling bettors alike. Although slightly less prestigious than the other 2, Vuelta an España is a goldmine for bettors, mainly due to all the betting promotions and bonuses it traditionally has.
Historically, cycling betting sites offer significantly more bonuses and promotions for Vuelta an España to convince you to bet on the final big race of the season. As a result, you can find free bets, Acca boosts, live cycling betting bonuses, and more.
Like many betting markets are available for the first 2 Grand Tours, bookies also include all bet types for Vuelta an España – including King of the Mountain, Young Rider, stage betting, handicaps, props, and more.
Cycling is also a part of the Summer Olympics, albeit the markets and Olympic cycling odds are slightly different because the competition is not the same. The Olympic cycling betting mostly focuses on indoor track races and other forms of cycling, such as the BMX events and mountain cycling, changing the game and requiring bettors to learn new skills.
Cycling Betting Apps
You can bet on cycling races from your mobile device on any sportsbook you choose. So, whether you’re cycling betting in the USA, Europe, or anywhere else, you can rest assured that mobile betting is available.
All online bookies, including any online cycling betting site, have at least a mobile version of the platform. However, most reputable bookies will also have a dedicated mobile betting app, which you can download for free.
The apps technically do the same thing as mobile betting websites but are far more convenient. But not only are mobile betting apps more stable, responsive and accessible than a mobile betting website, but the apps also occasionally have exclusive betting promotions.
If you prefer to bet from your computer, that is completely fine; however, you should download a mobile betting app if the online cycling betting site has it available.
History of Cycling
It’s hard to say when cycling began, but it’s fair to say that it all started thanks to Karl Von Drais, who invented the first bicycle prototype in 1817. The bicycle has since improved, and in less than 50 years, the first bicycle race was organized in France in 1860.
Since then, cycling competitions have become increasingly popular, and the sport has slowly become mainstream. Yet the most important year remains 1896, when cycling was officially introduced to the Olympic Games, serving as a domino effect for other, more significant competitions to be established.
Most notably, the Tour de France held its first edition in 1903, with the Giro d’Italia following 6 years later in 1909, with its first edition of the race. The most recent addition to the list of major cycling races was Vuelta an España, which got introduced in 1935.
Interestingly, the UCI World Championships, the annual competition for all types of cycling, was inaugurated in 1893, 3 years before cycling was introduced to the Olympics and well ahead of the introduction of the first Grand Tour race.
Cycling as a sport has a long and rich history, so let’s recap the key years:
- 1817 – Kar Von Drais invented the first bicycle prototype
- 1869 – The first bicycle race is organized in France
- 1893 – Introduction of the cycling World Championships
- 1896 – Cycling is introduced to the Summer Olympics
- 1900 – The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body of competitive cycling, is founded
- 1903 – First Tour de France
- 1906 – First Giro d’Italia
- 1935 – First Vuelta a España
- 2008 – BMX becomes an Olympic event
- 2020 – BMX freestyle joins the Summer Olympics
How to Bet on Cycling
Online betting on cycling is very straightforward, but you need to know how to approach it. Here we will look at the 3 important tips and tricks you should know before placing your first cycling bet.
- Understand the Races
Like any other racing sport and even virtual cycling competition, each race in the season is different and presents an entirely new set of challenges for the riders. That is why it’s essential that you know the races, the characteristics of each stage, and how the riders will perform under different conditions, as only this will allow you to make smart bets.
There is a good reason why the most successful cyclist in history, Eddy Merckx, has won 5 Giro d’Italia and 5 Tour de France races but just one Vuleta. There is a perfect reason why Rafael Nadal has won more than twice as many French Open titles as Australia Open, US Open, and Wimbledon titles combined.
- Familiarize Yourself with the Sport
It is the essential tip we can give you before you visit an online cycling betting site and place your first bet, and it’s a piece of advice that applies to betting on all other sports. You need to know what you’re betting on and be familiar with all aspects.
If you want to make smart predictions, you need to be familiar with the different types of tournaments and know a thing or 2 about the riders and the teams. The best way to do so is to watch the races and take notes, but it also helps if you visit trusted websites that provide valuable data and information on the sport.
- Only Bet with the Best Odds and on the Best Cycling Betting Sites
Gambling with the best cycling betting odds is extremely important for your long-term betting success and your chances of making a profit from online betting on cycling. That is why it’s imperative that you only bet with the best sportsbooks that can offer you the best men’s cycling odds.
You should register with multiple bookies, so you can shop for the best prices, as it’s not uncommon to see one bookie offer better odds than the other.
- Take Advantage of Betting Bonuses
Most bookies will have betting promotions and bonuses, such as free bets, available on cycling, especially during big races like Tour de France. Although we can’t guarantee that your bookie will have offers ready, it’s worth checking out if any promotions are available before placing your bets.
Free bets and other promotions are valuable as they allow you to make additional money from nothing. So if you can claim any betting offers, you should do so.
Most Popular Cycling Betting Markets
Even though cycling is not among the most popular sports in the world, nor is it among the top 3 most popular sports in the US and the UK, online cycling betting is still very much alive. Not only will you be able to place a cycling bet on any bookie you visit, but all online cycling betting sites will also offer plenty of different wager types.
Here we will check the most popular bet types you can access when online betting on cycling, and we will start with the simplest one – race winner.
Race winner is the most straightforward cycling bet you can place. With it, you’re simply predicting which rider will win a race, and it doesn’t matter how much time it takes him to do it or how much faster he is compared to the rest of the riders.
The race winner bet is very similar to a moneyline wager on a soccer match or a match-winner in chess betting.
Top 3 Finish
Top 3 finish is a fairly straightforward bet, which, as the name suggests, is a bet on which rider will finish a race inside the top 3. It is a common bet type across all racing sports, including Formula 1, Rally, alpine skiing, or any other sport where the athletes compete to finish the race the fastest.
The Top-10 finish bet is the same bet type as the top-3 finish; the only exception is that it includes more places. Like the “top-3”, the top 10 is a trendy bet type among those who bet on cycling as it allows you to back an outsider who might not win the race, but you believe that he is good enough to finish inside the top 10.
Stage betting works on the same principle as the race winner but is slightly different. Each race, including standalone and World Championship events, is divided into stages, each offering various challenges for the riders.
So if you believe that a particular rider will do well in a certain stage, you can bet on that.
Assuming the race starts with a hilly stage, you could bet on a rider known as a climber; if he wins the stage, your wager will hit. Essentially a stage bet is a wager on a rider to win a particular part of the whole race, similar to how you can bet on a soccer team to win the first or second half of the game.
Futures bets (also known as outright bets) are wagers you place on a rider you believe will win a given event across different stages. So if you think Primož Roglič will win Tour de France, you can bet on him to do so.
A futures wager also comes with various other options, including an each-way bet, which means you’re predicting a rider to either win the race or place top-3. Futures are very popular among those who engage in online betting on cycling, mainly because the cycling betting odds on outright markets are generally very high and offer generous payouts.
King of the Mountain
King of the Mountain is an individual reward given to the rider who has been on top in climbing the mountain. He who wins the award also gets the polka jersey and points based on the status of the mountain, with more points awarded to those who win on tougher mountains.
Betting on who will be King of the Mountain is a somewhat niche approach to betting on cycling, but cycling bookmakers often offer some of the most competitive odds in this market.
Young Rider Betting
A young rider is similar to the King of the Mountain as an individual reward given to a certain group of riders. The Young Rider is a special classification of riders aged 26 or less who compete against each other for the title of the race’s best young rider.
The rider with the best overall record during a race wears a white jersey and wins the award by the end. And just like you can bet on King of the Mountain, you can also wager on which rider will win the Young Rider title on the outright betting markets.
Live Cycling Betting
Live cycling betting is prevalent, mainly due to the nature of major cycling events. Since all Grand Tours last for 3 or more weeks, any bet you place during that time is considered a live bet.
That also explains why more people feel more confident placing a live bet. In comparison to football, where you have a window of just 90 minutes to find solid live betting opportunities, the duration of cycling events not only gives you more chances to explore the live betting markets but also more time to decide what to bet on.
It’s also worth noting that you can bet in-play while the race is happening, and that is an approach many cycling bettors like to use. Admittedly, it’s not for everyone, but if you’re confident in your knowledge of the sport, you should give it a go.
Live cycling betting can be highly profitable if you approach it correctly. Of course, you need to be very knowledgeable of the sport to find the right bets, but you also need access to a sportsbook with live cycling betting and, most importantly, live streaming options so you can follow the action and place the best quickly.
Cycling Betting Tips & Predictions
If you’re new to cycling betting, cycling betting tips and predictions are highly efficient tools to help you find smart bets. But even if you’re an experienced cycling bettor, it helps to check what other experts have to say and read their predictions.
Cycling betting tips and gambling previews are used to tell you which are the best bets and are also excellent sources of information. Admittedly, you should get your stats and info on the race, but betting previews are a condensed version of all that data and can save you a lot of time.
We advise you to avoid blindly trusting every betting preview or prediction you will find online. But it is beneficial to your long-term betting success to analyze the predictions and find helpful information to help you decide what to bet on.
Cycling Betting Strategies
It is not easy to profit from betting on cycling or any other sport, but with the right approach, everyone can do it. So here are our top four strategies and tips to get yourself on the right track to making a profit from cycling betting.
Before you start gambling on cycling, you should know that there are various cycling types and classifications you can bet on. For starters, you should stick with only one and become good at betting on it before moving on.
Trying to learn about all cycling types and classifications can become confusing and demoralizing, so start slow and move forward when you feel ready.
Information is King in sports betting, so research the tournaments and riders before you place your bets. This tip can be applied to any form of sports betting, but even though it’s common knowledge that you should only bet on what you feel most confident in, people, even in 2023, seem to forget it.
Betting on upsets can be exciting, but betting on the underdogs can be a very profitable approach in cycling. You might be surprised how often a complete underdog will upset the field and finish strong. Due to the availability of each-way betting markets, you can feel confident gambling on the outsider you believe will do well.
Analyzing past results is a very efficient way to predict how the next race will end. Some riders tend to do well on specific tracks, so if one rider has won 3 Giro d’Italia races, he is likely to do well in the next one, even though he might not have achieved much in the events leading to it.
Before we end our article, let’s discuss some interesting facts about cycling and its online betting scene.
- Some popular cycling competitions include the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta an España, Milan-San Remo, Amgen Tour of California, and The Dirty Kanza.
- Eddy Merckx is the most successful cyclist in history and one of the names of the most popular sports, alongside Fausto Coppi, Greg LeMond, Mario Cipollini, Primož Roglič, Tadej Pogačar, and Lance Armstrong.
- Cycling is a trendy sport globally, but it’s popular in France, England, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Colombia, and the Netherlands.
- Sports related to cycling include motorsports and, to some degree, running, another sport requiring a lot of cardio.
- The most popular and legal online bookmakers for betting on cycling include William Hill, Bet365, Paddy Power, Betway, Sky Bet, and LVBet.
- The first-ever bike was born in France, but the modern design was made in England.
- The fastest recorded speed on a bicycle on a flat surface was 133.75 km/h.
That concludes our article, which you can use as an excellent guide on how to bet on cycling, where to find the best cycling betting sites and do-and-don’ts of cycling betting. Equipped with all that knowledge, you’re ready to place your first cycling bet, but remember only to use the best cycling bookies available!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you bet on cycling online?
Yes! You can bet on cycling online just as quickly as placing cycling wagers at any land-based bookmaker. Moreover, since cycling has become increasingly popular over the years, you won’t struggle to find betting markets on the sport since they’re available on most online bookies.
What is the best cycling betting site?
There is no clear best cycling betting site, but a few are the most popular among cycling bettors. These include Paddy Power, William Hill, Bet365, and Sky Bet as 4 trusted bookies with excellent betting odds and deep betting markets.
Is it called biking or cycling?
Although cycling and biking technically mean the same thing, biking is mostly used to refer to riding a motor bicycle. So while you can use either of the two, cycling is a more formal way to refer to riding a bike.