Cycling may not be as popular to bet on as any of the professional North American sports like football or basketball, but there are still some great cycling odds at online sportsbooks - especially during marquee events like the Tour de France.
The odds for the Tour de France 2021 are now available. The odds are subject to change and will likely adjust as we approach the event. The odds were last updated on April 14, 2021:
2021 Tour de France Winners Odds
Road cycling betting is more popular in Western Europe, with a focus on France, Spain, and Italy. The two most popular cycling competition formats include mass start events, where individuals start all at the same time, or time trials, where riders race alone and are seeking the best time.
Cycling is governed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), and each major event can bring in over 500,000 roadside supporters and spectators each day. The major events in cycling have been around for roughly a century or more, meaning there is plenty of history behind each and every event in cycling.
It’s important to have all the important facts before betting on cycling as there are so many factors that could affect the outcome of a race. We will give you a brief introduction to the world of cycling, then teach you a little about cycling betting options and finally, find you a sportsbook that will be a good match for you to get started betting on cycling.
During the Olympics, sportsbooks offer odds on other cycling disciplines, such as mountain bike, BMX and track.
Road Cycling Race Types
Let's have a look at the cycling race types.
You can expect any professional single day race distances to stretch as long as 180 miles, depending on the course and location. The courses can run from place to place, or riders will do laps of a particular circuit.
Individual time trial (ITT) has cyclists racing alone on a course, with the goal to have the fastest time. Team time trials (TTT) has the same idea, but the cyclists start the race at different times, and ride in a line, with each team member taking a turn riding in the front while the others sit behind.
Stage races consist of several races or states that are ridden consecutively. The rider with the lowest cumulative time (the fastest) is declared the winner. It can also be a series of road races and individual time trials. Some stage races can be three weeks long, and these stage races are called Tours - like the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France, and the Vuelta a España.
Another race type is the Ultramarathon, which is ultra-distance cycling - a long single-stage event where the clock runs from start to finish. These can last several days and the riders will take breaks at their convenience. Most riders require a team of staff to support them through this event due to some ultramarathons being over 3,000 miles long.
Types of Cyclists
There are a few different types of riders in Cycling, and the type of rider you’re looking to bet on will determine how likely they are to succeed at any given race. The main types of cyclists are as follows:
- Climber: a cyclist who can ride well on inclines or hilly courses and terrain.
- Puncher: a cyclist who rides well on rolling terrain with short or steep hill climbs.
- Time Trialist: a cyclist who can maintain high speeds for long periods of time.
- Sprinter: a cyclist who can reach high speeds rather explosively and quickly.
- Domestique: a team cyclist that works to serve the team or leader rather than win the race itself.
- All-rounder: a versatile cyclist who is skilled at all forms of cycling including mountain biking.
Betting on The Grand Tours
There are three major Grand Tours in three major European countries: France, Spain and Italy. The three tours are all similar in format and are three week-long races with daily stages.
The Giro d’Italia was introduced in 1909, and runs through Italy, as well as passing through other neighboring countries. It is typically held in May and holds two-time trials and a passage through the Alps and Dolomites. There are usually 21 stages over a 24 day period with two to three rest days.
The Tour de France
Introduced in 1903 and widely known around the world as the most popular of all the Grand Tours, the Tour de France never ceases to disappoint. Held in France in July, the Tour de France is a multiple-stage cycling event with 21 stages that occurs over a 23 day period. It is by far the most prestigious and most difficult race in cycling. Lance Armstrong’s success in this race put the Tour de France on the map in North America.
Vuelta a España
The ‘Tour of Spain’ or Vuelta a España, is the youngest of the Grand Tours, with the first edition planned for 1935, but with the Spanish War and World War II, the first edition wasn’t held until 1955. The Vuelta is a UCI World Tour event, meaning that participants and teams are mostly UCI World Teams - making the tournament very prestigious. The tour always goes through the Pyrenees mountains and finishes in Madrid with 21-day states over a 23 day period.
Popular Cycling Betting Options
If you head to the cycling section on your favorite online sportsbook, you may see some different betting types if you’re used to the regular moneylines, totals, and spreads.
Bet on Cycling Futures
Any major cycling event will have futures on the winner of the event. So for instance, looking at the Tour de France, they will have a list of the riders participating, with the riders that are most likely to win at the top. Futures will have higher odds but will be a riskier bet to place as there are so many cyclists to bet on.
These odds are usually live as soon as an event is announced, you can usually place your wagers months in advance and find some real value - if you’re right.
Race Winner Betting
For any race, you can place a race winner wager, which is basically the same as a futures bet, but you can do this for any race - not just the big marquee events. You simply select which cyclist you think will win.
Top 3 Finish
If you’re familiar with golf betting, they have a similar betting option. The top three finish allows a slight margin of error if you aren’t sure that your cyclist will win, but you think he may place in the top three, you can place that wager with reduced odds. This can be a popular option as your rider only has to place third or above for your bet to cash.
Top 10 Finish
This cycling betting type is the same as above, you get even more reduced odds and your rider just has to place tenth or better.
If you feel that a rider would do better in a particular stage of the race, you can bet on a rider to win a certain stage of the race. Each stage will have betting odds, so it makes it easier if you know the rider’s style and if they are better in mountain terrain - maybe they would win the stage of the race through the mountains.
TOP Cycling Betting Sites
Now that you have an idea of the popular cycling betting types, it’s time to find an online sportsbook to start placing those wagers. Online offshore sportsbooks cover a huge selection of sports and sporting events, and will likely have all of the above betting options and then some. We can’t say the same for your local retail sportsbook - if sports betting is even legalized in your state.
Reading sportsbook reviews can greatly help in selecting an online sportsbook, as there are a few bad apples out there in the world, and we want to make sure you’re only using the top online sportsbooks that are legit and trustworthy. Ensuring you find a sportsbook that offers cycling odds should be your number one criteria, then you can look at the deposit options you want to use, and bonuses and loyalty programs.
Betting on cycling online is fun and a great way to make the events more interesting to watch. Ensure you bet responsibly and as always, have a little fun with it.