Guide to Cycling Betting

Introduction to Cycling

Cycling is a sport that has a worldwide following, popular in just about every corner of the globe. The simple thrill of riding a bike and the intensity of a race are things that sports fans everywhere can relate to.

With the growth of the sports betting industry, fans now have a chance to get in on the action with cycling betting for their favourite races. If you’re a new fan, there’s a lot of information to take in at once. If you need some cycling betting tips, check out our guide below for all the information you need.


Main Rules

Cycling betting

While the rules can change depending on the type of race in question, the principle of cycle racing remains the same. Racers compete to get through the track in the shortest possible time. Sometimes bikers compete against each other on the same course, while other races are time trial formats where the racers compete separately and compare times afterwards.

Cycling betting rules can change depending on the cycling betting markets that you’re looking into. The most simple cycling betting markets simply involve wagers on who will win the race. However, more complicated bets involve betting on a racer to place but not win a race or to win by a certain distance over the nearest competitor.

Track Cycling Races

Track cycling covers some of the most popular cycling betting events around. Take a look at the different types of races below.


Sprint races test the speed of racers over short distances on courses ranging from 250m to 1000m in length depending on the race. These events often only feature a small number of racers, sometimes up to four but more often only two racers competing head to head. Unlike some other races, the bikers start in a line together rather than staggered across the starting line.


Scratch races are similar to sprint races in that all the racers begin the race lined up at the starting line. However, these races take place over longer distances, favouring endurance riders. Cyclists have to complete several circuits around the track before completing the race.


Points races feature a large number of cyclists competing over a long-distance race. Over the course of this race, points are awarded to racers for completing certain sprints within the race with the fastest possible time. In most formats of this type, points are awarded to the top four finishers in each sprint.


In pursuit racing, cyclists begin on the opposite side of the track at the same time. The object of the race is for the trailing team to catch up to the leading one for the win. There are both team and individual races that use this format.

Time trial

Unlike the events listed above, time trial races see competitors ride through the track on their own rather than alongside other racers. Rather than trying to pass other racers and finish first, cyclists instead compete to finish the course in the shortest possible time.


These relay races involve teams of multiple racers competing around the track. These riders swap in and out of the race at predetermined intervals, with the objective being to gain the highest number of laps on the other teams competing.


Races in this format begin with a speed-controlled start behind a pace-setting bike. The pace-setting bike gets gradually faster and faster with each lap until departing the course for the final two laps.


Whereas the above formats only feature one race, an omnium race involves a series of races over the course of multiple days. These events involve several different races of the types listed above, with the winner being the rider who scores the most points across all the different races.

Road Cycling Races

While some events take place on a racetrack, some of the biggest events for cycling betting take place on the open road instead. Here are some of the formats you’ll see for these road cycling races.

Single Day

As the name suggests, these short term races take place all in one day. The best time for completing the set course at the conclusion of that day wins the race.

Stage Race

Longer format races take place over several days rather than all in one running. The winner of these multiple-stage events is determined by factoring in the racers’ performances over each stage.

Individual Time Trials

Just like in track races, some road cycling races don’t have all of the competitors run the race at the same time. Instead, the racers compete to see who will complete the course in the fastest time rather than competing with each other directly.

Main Competitions

While there are almost always some cycling betting odds available, every race fan especially looks forward to the big events of the sport. These three events are some of the races cycling fans look forward to the most.

  • Tour de France
    One of the sport’s most famous events, the Tour de France, is held annually and is one of cycling’s top prizes. Racers compete over 21 stages taking place over 23 days, making this one of the sport’s greatest tests of endurance.
  • Giro d’Italia
    Another annual multi-stage road cycling race, this annual race has a long history going back to 1909. It includes some of the most scenic road racing sites in Italy and the neighbouring countries.
  • Vuelta a Espana
    Inspired by the success of the other two races, this multi-stage road race in Spain was first organized in 1935. Racers compete over 21 day-long stages to see who can get the best time.

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There are a number of different providers that offer cycling betting odds. Some of the better-known cycling betting sportsbooks are William Hill, BetMGM, and BetRivers. Check to see what providers are available in your area before deciding where the best place to do your cycling betting is.

Cycling Facts and History

Cycling bets

The first bicycles were invented in the 1800s, leading to the first large races becoming popular in the 1890s. This early stage of cycling history is sometimes referred to as ‘The Golden Age of Cycling.’

The first officially recorded bicycle race was held back in 1868 in Paris, France, when racers took part in a 1,200-meter race through the Parc de Saint-Cloud. The sport has grown in popularity ever since, with sporting events such as the Tour de France growing into household names and drawing international audiences.

Since then, racing has developed along with the advance of cycling technology. Now cycling betting is available for all different types of races, from road bicycle races to track races to off-road BMX bike races.


Cycling is one of the most popular sports across the world. Now with sports betting more popular than ever, cycling betting allows fans of the sports to have a stake in the race. Use the tips in our guide to getting the most out of your cycling betting experience.


Why should you bet on cycling?

Cycling betting helps fans of the sport get more invested in the race. With a little luck, you also have a chance to gain some success.

What are the best markets for cycling betting?

You’ll have a lot of different options when it comes to the types of cycling betting markets you have to choose from. The most straightforward is a race winner bet, which is a wager simply on which racer will finish in the top position.

Is cycling betting legal?

Sports betting laws vary depending on local regulations. Check to see what cycling betting providers are available in your area.

How do you win at cycling betting?

Like any form of gambling, there are no guarantees when it comes to cycling betting. Be sure to play responsibly so you can have fun instead of adding stress to your life.

Elica Martinova
Betting expert
Certified Betting Expert
Elica Martinova
Ellie is in charge of writing, editing, and publishing reviews in Bulgarian, English, and German. She has a long track record as a journalist and is passionate about writing. Also, she is quite experienced when it comes to bookmakers as well.