Cycling: How to play it and how to bet on it
First of all, it is necessary to divide cycling into two main disciplines - road cycling and cycling track. To understand how to bet on this sport, you need to understand the difference between these completely different formats.
Track races take place in indoor arenas (also called velodromes), where the track is ringed, the distance of the lap is from 150 to 500 meters.
Road cycling is a "street" discipline in which athletes can travel huge distances in one race. Here you can see both 10-kilometre individual races on time, and long 200-kilometre stages, together making up a single canvas of road multi-day races. Overcoming more than 3000 kilometres in 20 days, athletes compete on different types of routes - it can be cobbled narrow streets in Europe, highways, flat and mountain reliefs.
And usually, riders specialize in something specific: at the finishing sprints, mountain "climbs", but all the main laurels and popularity reap still hardy captains, fighting for the overall standings of the multi-day. In addition to the track and highway, some bookmakers also give lines to important events in the world of mountain biking.
Types of cycling bets
The most popular time for road cycling, when the volumes of bets are especially high, are the periods during the three main multi-day seasons. In May, the first of them, the Giro d'Italia, is held, which is known especially for its gruelling mountain stages with incredible gradients.
In July, the most famous race in the world takes place, the big royal loop of the Tour de France. And towards the end of the season, in August - September, the Spanish Vuelta takes place. Let's highlight the main types of bets on these grand events.
But the fact is, the range of possible contenders is not so wide - most of the participants of the race are so-called ‘gregors’ - people who assist the chosen captain of the cycling team. It is among the captains that there is usually a struggle for the overall standings. And there are usually no more than seven or eight of the really strong captains, who are able to actually finish in a top spot.
Winning the stage or on one-day. In addition to the multi-day road cycling season, there are also several central one-day events. For example, the world-famous race "Paris - Roubaix" held in the spring. This is a sprint race, the line on which is not much different from the line for the sprint stage of the multi-day race.
If a top sprinter participates in the sprint stage/race, betting on his victory at the stage can often be taken for a small factor, about 2-3, and the range of contenders is usually limited to 4-5 strong sprinters. However, on a multi-day race, the outcome of such a race is more interesting to predict or analyze, as in a tight schedule it is easier to track the shape of the athlete.
In mountain races or stages, odds on the winner are higher, the element of chance is more significant, and even a racer who was not initially in the line can win in rare cases. But still the "kings of mountains" are always available, and their chances in the line are preferable to that of the "dark horses".
There are specialists in short races for a time, in the "Tour de France" under the "sections" is allocated, as a rule, two stages. In these races in the bookmaker's top usually inhabited "gregors" who switched to road cycling after success on the track.
Getting into the prize-winners. Bookmakers often offer quotes on getting a certain athlete finishing in different places of multi-day, stage or one-day. Top 3, top 5, top 10 are the normal bets, but there are different options.
Duel cyclists. Together with the bets on getting into the top, this type of quote is especially popular among those who want to bet with high odds to win here and now, regardless of the odds.
To catch the victory of the Pitmen at the stage for the factor 4, you need certain patience, where in the designated type of bets all the intrigue can be reduced to a face-to-face or absentee confrontation between two cyclists. Often bookmakers call this line "Who is higher" and similar bets are offered on many individual sports.
Additional bets. Lines for cycling are quite rare in offices in the post-Soviet space. However, sometimes you can find markets, for example, on whether a certain racer who will start the next day or to what stage of the multi-day he will stay “in the saddle”.
A little more often you can find long-term bets on the winners of various races - classification of young riders, mountain or sprint standings.
Specialization and team factor: how to bet on cycling
If you are betting on cycling for the first time, first of all, you should know the difference between the types of races on the terrain of the tracks (marked above mountain, sprint stages and so on) and realize that almost every athlete has a strict specialization.
In the long-distance races, riders have strong strengths and weaknesses, so they have to focus on one race - only three cyclists in history have won all three major classifications of the Grand Tour.
You need to pay attention to the strength of the racer's team, which you want to bet on. Road cycling is largely a team sport, and without good assistants here even stars cannot succeed. Very strong riders can sacrifice their results for the sake of accompanying the captain on difficult stretches.
In this regard, some strong Pitmen, who are in the top quotes of bookmakers for individual stages, may actually have less chance on a particular day than the visits from the other team - let's say one of them spent energy on escorting the captain all week, and the second team was quickly out of the competition for the overall standings due to an injury to the star "multi-day" player.
In the sprint stages, the overall strength of the team also matters, because the challenger still needs to "bring" to the cherished finish line, and in races for time fatigue and workload can greatly affect the chances of an injury or a breakdown.
If in multi-day races it is easier to be in the set of events, then before betting on a one-day race be sure to once again deal with the health of the participants, look for information. Even a small cold a few days before the race can seriously affect the athlete's chances, not to mention injuries.