Sports Information: Cycling



The principal forms of competitive cycling are track cycling and road racing. Track cycling developed in the late nineteenth century and took place on wooden indoor tracks with banked turns, similar in design to the modern velodrome. These were year-round venues and attracted crowds of up to 2,000. At that time, the main UK centres were London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool & Sheffield.


Track cycling is an Olympic sport and has featured in every games apart from the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, where the competition format was road time trials.




Women first competed at the Seoul Olympics in 1988. The main short race formats, typically over 8 to 10 laps, are sprint, team sprint, track time-trial & Keirin. The main endurance race formats, typically over 12 to16 laps, are individual pursuit, team pursuit, scratch race, points race, Madison and Omnium.


Road racing dates back to 1868 with the first world championships held in 1893 and the Athens Olympics three years later.

The sport originally had a big following in France, Spain, Italy & Belgium. UK cycling has received a significant boost in the last decade through exhilarating team performances on track and road, spearheaded by Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Bradley Wiggins. Cycling's world governing body is the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).




Track cycling has a very busy calendar with competition at various levels, including individual track leagues, regional leagues, national championships, the UCI World Track Cup , the World Championships and, every four years, the Olympic Games (2016). The British Cycling website lists 281 track events. The European road racing calendar is dominated by events first run over one hundred years ago, including Liege- Bastogne- Liege (1892), Pais - Roubaix (1896). Tour de France (1903), Milan - St Remo (1905), Giro di Lombardia (1905), Giro d'Italia (1909), the Tour of Flanders (1913) and the Vuelta de Espana (1935). This list includes one day classics, staged races and grand tours. Although cycling is now a worldwide phenomenon, these remain the most prestigious races. The British Cycling website lists 674 road racing events.




There are a wide variety of betting opportunities on cycling which is now a very popular sport in the UK and Europe.




The following types of bet are available on tour races (eg Tour de France and Vuelta de Espana) which consist of many daily stages.


  • Outright Winner: both ante- post and on a daily basis

  • Stage Winner: fixed odds and in-running

  • King of the Mountains: ante- post and on a daily basis

  • King of Sprints: ante - post and on a daily basis

Spread betting firms will offer spreads on winning distances and other markets. All UK and European bookmakers and exchanges offer prices on the major tours and markets are of medium strength. Check injuries daily and check the position of strong mountain riders in the overall standings before the mountain stages. Then consider backing them both outright and to win stages.




In the Tour De France the race may be very close approaching the mountain stages. If you think one of the good climbers will win the race then it is best to back him before these stages start as he will surely trade at a shorter price if he does as is expected and rides well in the mountains.




  • There are a range of events in the World Championships and Olympics.

  • Some UK and European bookmakers will offer ante-post and fixed odds betting on certain events

  • Check injuries daily and compare prices between bookmakers and betting exchanges

  • Follow UK male and female riders in all sprint races