How To Bet On Cycling: Complete Guide | LeoVegas

How To Bet On Cycling: Complete Guide


Cycling is a sport made up of various different disciplines, including road racing, track cycling, cyclo-cross, mountain biking and BMX. Starting as a recreational sport, cycling is enjoyed and participated by millions of people around the world and is brought to global attention by events such as the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and the Olympic Games.

There are various betting markets available for cycling, including options like stage winner, outright winner, best finishing positions and the highest placed team. The nature of cycling means that there are factors that are often out of the riders control, but can affect the outcome of the race.

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Here, we will explore cycling, the betting markets available and the factors that can have an impact on the results.


What Is Cycling?

Cycling, put simply, is the sport of riding a bicycle. But there’s a little more to it than that, as there are three main ways to do so – road racing (usually long distances); pursuit (oval track) and cycle-cross (over rough, open country).

Cycling became an official sport on May 31, 1868, when a race was held at the Parc de St Saint-Cloud in Paris. The United States followed the same path and cycling became a sport in the country in 1878.

Cycling is popular worldwide, as a way of exercising more. Thousands of people across the globe find cycling the perfect way to clear their mind while also burning calories. And it seems lockdowns across the world changed people’s habits and made them rediscover the fun of cycling.

But it’s not all about riding round town or getting out into the fresh air. Cycling has become a popular sport to bet on too.

Types of Cycling Races

There are varying cycling events, as the sport is made up of different disciplines, all of which have aspects that set them apart from the others. While it may seem that cycling is simply riding a bicycle, there is more to it than that. The main types of cycling competitions are:

Road racing

As the name suggests, this involves racing on roads. This is often long distance racing, as part of a longer tour such as the Tour de France, can be shorter time trial races, or can be a standalone race such as the famous Paris Roubaix.


This is racing on a track, usually a velodrome. Coming to worldwide attention during events such as the Olympic Games, there are different events on the track, including the sprint, madison and keirin.


This is a type of cycling that is usually made up of short laps around a track of multiple different surfaces. Competitors will tackle pavement, wooded trails, grass and steep climbs, as well as obstacles that will require dismounting the bike to complete the course.

Mountain Biking

Made up of different variants, including cross-country, downhill and Super D, mountain biking is a thrilling spectacle where riders tackle tough terrain to be the first to cross the line.

Outright winner

This is simply betting on the winner of the race. Whether the race be an event made up of multiple stages, or an Olympic time trial with just one event, you’ll need to choose the rider you think is going to win the race. You may be able to back the winner each way (e/w), meaning you will get a pay out if they finish in one of the top positions (depending on the terms of the race and number of riders).

Finishing position

This bet involves not necessarily predicting the winner but a rider to finish in one of the certain positions. It could mean finishing in the medal positions (top three) for an Olympic event, or the top 10 for a multi-stage event such as the Giro d’Italia.

Stage winner

Applicable for major tours like the Tour de France, this market will allow you to bet on individual stages of the race. A tour would be made up of multiple stages so here, you are choosing the winner of a particular stage rather than the whole race. Different stages are suited to different riding styles and strengths, so no two stages are the same.

Segment winners

Tours have different titles for things other than the race winner. For example, the Tour de France has the ‘King of the Mountains’ for the best climber, and the ‘Green Jersey’ for the best sprinter. This market allows you to bet on the winners of these.

How To Bet On Cycling: Step By Step

To start betting on cycling, you will need to sign up to a LeoVegas account. This is easy to do and can be achieved by following the steps here.

Once you have activated your account and chosen your welcome offer, you can browse the list of cycling markets available.

Depending on the time of year, there may be different events and disciplines available.

Once you have chosen your bet, of which there will be different types as outlined previously in this guide, you can add to your betslip and choose your stake. Be sure to select a stake that is affordable to you.

What Are The Main Cycling Events?

There are many cycling events in the calendar across all disciplines, and here are some of the most famous:

Tour de France

Taking place each July, the Tour de France primarily takes place as the name suggests, in France, though on occasion the race has started in or past through other countries including Belgium and the United Kingdom. The Tour de France began in 1903, originally to boost sales for L’auto newspaper, and it lasts for 23 days and consists of 21 stages, made up of flat, hilly and mountain stages as well as individual and team time trials. There are two or three rest days for the riders, each stage is a day long and the competition goes on for 23 days. The leader of the race wears the coveted yellow jersey, with the winner the rider to complete the 21 stages in the fastest time. Other accolades include the green jersey for the best sprinter and the polka dot jersey for the King of the Mountains.

Giro D’Italia

An annual multi-stage bicycle race held primarily in Italy, the Giro d'Italia began 9n 1909 and is the first Grand Tour of the year, taking place in May. The tour is part of the ‘Triple Crown’ along with the Tour de France and the UCI Road Cycling World Championships and is the second most important stage race after the Tour de France. The race predominantly goes through Italy but may also take place in other countries along the way, and the leader and eventual winner of the Giro d’Italia wears the famous pink jersey.

Vuelta a Espana

The Vuelta a Espana is the third Grand Tour of the year and takes place annually in September, which it has done since 1995. Though the tour will primarily be in Spain, it can pass through neighbouring countries such as Portugal and France. First organised in 1935, the race was the last of the Grand Tour races to be established, and the leader of the race wore the red jersey, with the tour taking in the Pyrenees and finishing in Madrid. Like all Grand Tour races, the Vuelta a Espana consists of 21 stages and two or three rest days.

UCI World Championships

The UCI World Championships are annual championships to determine world champion cyclists. Organised by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the event consists of road races and individual time trials as well as, since 2019, a mixed team relay. Championship winners wear a white jersey with rainbow coloured bands around the chest the following year, and the event makes up the ‘Triple Crown’ with the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia.

Tour Under Down

Traditionally the opening race of the UCI World Tour, the Tour Down Under is a race taking place in and around Adelaide, Australia. The event features all 19 UCI WorldTeams, and is held usually in the middle of the Australian summer, over six stages. There are both men and women teams competing in respective races, and the event has run since 1999.

Olympic Games Cycling

Cycling has been a part of the Olympic Games since 1896. There are four variations of cycling in the Olympics – road racing, track cycling, mountain biking and BMX, with BMX the last to be recognised as an Olympic sport. Like all Olympic sports, the winners and runners-up are awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, and the games propel the sport to a worldwide audience.

Cycling Betting Odds

You can check the latest odds for cycling races here.

Key Factors Influencing Cycling Betting

There are numerous factors that can affect the outcome of a race, so let’s check them out.

Terrain and Course Characteristics

Different courses suit different riders. Much like the going of a racecourse can affect the performance of a horse, there are different terrains that will be suited to varying abilities and riding styles and strengths.

Weather Conditions

As road cycling is an outdoor sport, it is very much open to the elements. Due to the nature and length of the stages or race, the weather conditions can play a huge part in the result, as they can change multiple times during the course, particularly over higher altitudes. Changing weather conditions can alter the rider’s performance, particularly when unexpected and sudden, or if the team and rider are unprepared.

Rider Form and Fitness

As with any sport, the form of the participant will have an affect on the outcome, In cycling, fitness plays a huge role, as a rider struggling for fitness will find it difficult to compete to their best ability. The schedule of the rider, previous stages in a race, and of course any accidents and injuries, can all have huge impacts on the sport and on the betting markets.

Team Dynamics

Cycling can differ from many sports in that the strongest rider may not win, and that could be through the choice of their own team. Teams will often have a number one rider, and focus the whole efforts of the team into that rider winning the race. This could mean that riders who have all of the characteristics and strengths to win a stage don’t win because they are following the orders of the team.

Cycling Betting Tips

With cycling managing to increase its popularity, so too has betting on cycling events. If you want to be successful at a small or big bet, then there are some tips you can follow. Having skills and also the most basic knowledge about cycling is very important, if you want to start betting.

Knowing the basic terms such as what odds are, how to make a bet, what a betting slip is, what kind of bets are available for you, how to manage your betting slip and much more are essential as well.

Nowadays there is a lot of information online and you can use that to make sure that you will win most of your bets (since not all will be won). Plus, for example, using a certain strategy can also be helpful. Knowing very well the markets available – the events where you can bet – is something that you should be aware of.

Famous Cyclists

There have been many cyclists to grace the sport of cycling over the years, and we have outlined a few of the most successful riders here.

Eddy Merckx

The dominant cyclist of the 1970s, Eddie Merckx won around a third of the professional races he entered, giving him 525 victories. Known as ‘The Cannibal’, Merckx has five Tour de France victories to his name, as well as the same amount in the Giro d’Italia. He has victories in all of the major cycling races he has entered, some of which on more than one occasion, making him one of the best known and successful riders of all time.

Bernard Hinault

A five time le Tour winner, Hinault won just one fewer Grand Tour than Merckx, with 13. Nicknamed ‘The Badger’ because of his aggressive riding style, he has 147 professional victories to his name.

Fausto Coppi

following the Second World War, Fausto Coppi was the man to beat. An all-rounder, Coppi was adept in the climbs and time trials, as well as being formidable in the sprints. He won his native Giro d’Italia on five occasions as well as the Tour de France twice, and the World Championship in 1953. He has a host of other honours to his name including the hour record and Paris-Roubaix.

Jacques Anquetil

In the 1950s and 60s, Anquetil became the first cyclist to win the Tour de France five times, and in 1961, wore the yellow jersey for the entirety of the tour having won it on Stage One. His eight Grand Tour victories were a record when he retired and to this day have only been bettered by Merckx and Hinault.

Mark Cavendish

One of the most recognisable names in modern cycling, Cavendish ranks alongside Eddie Mercx for the number of stage wins at the Tour de France with 34, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest sprinters of all time. As well as his success on the road, Cavendish is a decorated track cyclist, with three Olympic medals to his name.

Cycling FAQs

Does cycling count as a sport?

Yes cycling is a sport, and has been an Olympic sport for over a century. Both a recreational and competitive sport, cycling can be one of the challenging sports in the world.

Do cycling teams make a profit?

Cycling teams are not traditionally run for profit, but with sponsorships aiming to cover the expenses of the team riders and staff, as well as ensuring all costs are covered to maintain the competitiveness of the team.

What do Tour de France cyclists get paid?

The prize fund for the 2023 Tour de France was €2.5m with the winner, Jonas Vingegaard receiving €500,000. €11,000 is up for grabs for each stage win, while other prizes include €1,500 for intermediate sprint winners, and the overall sprint winner getting €25,000. The winning team receives €50,000 while the highest placed rider under 25 gets a prize of €20,000.

Which is harder: Giro d Italia or Tour de France?

There is no definitive answer to this. The races both take place over challenging and spectacular terrain, with different stages geared up to suit different riders. Both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France are extremely challenging and among the toughests sporting events in the world. There may be years where one is deemed ‘harder’ than the other, but as the route changes each year, it is difficult to compare them in terms of difficulty. The Tour de France is the most famous and oldest Grand Tour race.

Has anyone won the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in the same year?

Yes. Fausto Coppi was the first person to win both races in the same year, in 1949 and again in 1952, and the achievement has been reached by the following cyclists since:

  • Jaques Anquetil (1963, 1964)
  • Eddie Merckx (1970, 1972)
  • Bernard Hinault (1982, 1985)
  • Miguel Indurain (1992, 1993)
  • Marco Pantani (1998)The ‘Triple Crown’, of the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and the UCI World Championship has been won just twice, by Eddy Merckx in 1974 and then by Irishman Stephen Roche in 1987.

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