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If you want to bet on cycling, you need to understand how to read the odds, but luckily that should come as second nature to anyone who has ever bet on sports before. Although cycling is a niche sport in the betting world, betting on it is very straightforward as there are no particular bet types you need to learn about.

Cycling Odds & Examples

Here are the three most popular bet types bettors will use for cycling betting, but rest assured that there are more betting options – often classified as exotics or proposition bets, which allow you to bet on a wide range of different outcomes. Those include “will rider finish the race,” “will a rider change his bike,” and in some cases even include spread betting.

"To Win" BET

Like in any racing sport, the most common bet on cycling is “to win,” which, as the name would suggest, is a wager on which rider you believe will win the upcoming race.

"Place" BET

“Place” bet is an alternative to the “to win” bet and works the same way as in horse racing, allowing you to predict whether a rider will finish the race inside the offered number of places (typically top-3).

"Each Way" BET

And then there, “each way” bet combines the to win and to place bets, splitting your wager into two equal parts that get put on each of the two bets.


Spread betting is not very popular in cycling, but many bookmakers will offer some forms of spread betting in a bid to provide their customers with a bit more variety when they pick their bets. Spreads will often fall under the prop bet category and will allow you to bet with time spreads.


Each race will have one or more favorites, who the bookies expect have the best chance to win the race. Their odds will be the lowest out of the field and offer the least potential payout, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not a good bet. As noted above, even betting on the favorites is sometimes profitable if you can locate value with the offered betting odds.

Underdogs are cyclists whose implied probability of winning is significantly lower than the favorites and are, as a result, priced at much higher odds. But even though the underdogs’ chances of winning are sometimes slim to none, betting on the underdogs can be a profitable strategy, especially with “to place” markets.

How to Bet On Cycling

Betting on cycling is very simple, and anyone can get into it, but not everyone can be considered an expert. However, with enough time and the right approach, everyone can profit from betting on cycling.

The most important thing to know when cycling betting– or any other sport – is that you have to be looking for value and not bet on whichever cyclist you believe will win. That might sound counterproductive, but you need to know that every choice you will make as a bettor revolves around the betting odds.

For example, if the favorite is priced at +100, his implied probability of winning the race is 50%, meaning he is expected to win 50% of the time. Therefore, if you believe he has a better than 50% chance of winning, you should bet on him, whereas if you think he has a lower probability, for example, 40%, you should not bet on him.

The same principle applies to betting on all cyclists, and this leads us to a crucial thing you should know – don’t be afraid of betting on the underdogs. If one of the outsiders is priced at +1100, he is expected to win only 8.3% of the time. So if you believe he has an 8.4% or better chance of winning, you have found yourself a value bet.

Now that you know how to pick your bets, all you have to do is choose what to bet on. And there are many options besides who will win the race.

That includes an excellent selection of proposition bets that aren’t necessarily related to who will win but are instead focused on outcomes that won’t directly affect the race. For example, some props include bets on whether a cyclist will fall, change his bike, have a flat tire, and many more.

Tips, Tricks and Advice For Cycling Betting

The best betting tip for anyone wanting to bet on cycling is to start by picking a solid bookmaker. 

Do your research

Naturally, have to know a thing or two about the sport and do your research on what to bet on. Reading betting previews is helpful, and they can be a strong asset while you’re searching for information, but ultimately, you have to make your own choices.

Have a strategy

Lastly, you have to have a strategy that suits your style. There is no such thing as the best betting strategy, nor is there a betting system that will ensure profits. You need to pick one that will work for you, and after you do, you need to stick with it and trust the process.


The Union Cycliste Internationale (or UCI) was founded in 1900 in Paris by the national cycling sports organizations of the United States, Belgium, Italy, France, and Switzerland. The UCI was formed to replace the International Cycling Association (ICA) and implemented a law that would prohibit Great Britain from fielding multiple teams (for England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) at the world championship. However, the restriction was revoked in 1903.

In 1965, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pressured UCI to change its structure and create two subsidiary bodies – the International Professional Cycling Federation (FICP) and the International Amateur Cycling Federation (FIAC) while the UCI assumed the role of coordinating both bodies.

But the new structure lasted for only 27 years before the UCI reunified the FIAC and FICP and merged them back into the UCI in 1992. Nowadays, the UCI is the governing body of sports cycling and oversees all international competitive cycling events, and it also organizes cycling’s world championships across all cycling disciplines.

The inaugural UCI Road World Championship in 1921 was intended as a tournament for amateur men cyclists and has remained an amateur event until 1927 when the first professional world championship took place in Nürburgring in Germany. It has since gone through many changes, most of which happened in the 1960s and later.

Some of the most notable dates include the introduction of the first women’s world championship in 1958 and the addition of the men’s team time trial in 1962, albeit the latter got removed and hadn’t been reinstalled until 2012.

In the years that followed, the UCI added individual time trials in all categories added by 1994 and in 1996 removed the amateur category, which got replaced by under-23 world championship.

There weren’t many tremendous changes to the UCI World Championship in the 21st century, with the only notable being the introduction of the mixed team relay. Still, the men’s and women’s road race and time trials have remained mostly unchanged, with each rider representing his country, competing for the title of a world champion,

As a racing sport, where the main goal is to finish the track first, cycling betting is fairly straightforward. The time trials are slightly different, at the teams are sent out to complete a specified distance on a road course the fastest. Still, the principles remain the same as with any other racing sport.


The connection of the point spread to the moneyline

The moneyline betting odds are heavily connected with the point spread odds in a way that moneyline odds dictate how the point spreads look. The favorites will always have a negative point spread available, while the opposite holds true for the underdogs.

But know that since the ultimate goal in cycling is to complete the track the fastest, the aforementioned rule is reversed – the favorites have a positive (time) spread and the underdogs a negative (time) spread offered.

Cycling Betting FAQ

Is UCI betting legal?

Betting on UCI cycling events is entirely legal as long as you do it on a legal, licensed, and regulated sportsbook. You also need to be located in a country where sports betting is legal, and you need to be old enough to place bets.

Which are the best bookmakers for UCI betting?

There is no such thing as the best bookmaker for UCI betting, but there are plenty of good options out there. Before you start betting on UCI, you need to find a bookmaker that can provide you with enough market depth and competitive odds. And it never hurts to find a bookie that has solid bonuses and promotions.

Which are the biggest events in cycling?

The UCI World Championship and the two Grand Tours in Tour de France and Giro d’Italia are three of the world’s biggest and most popular cycling events. The three also form the Triple Crown of Cycling.

Can I bet on UCI online?

Yes. You can bet on UCI online at any bookmaker that offers UCI betting odds. Even though many do, not all will, so make sure to check the bookie’s offer.

How often is UCI Road World Championships?

The UCI Road World Championships is an annual cycling event that has been held every year since the inaugural race in 1921. The only six years the UCI Road World Championships had not been held was during World War II (1939-1945).
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