Best Cycling Betting Sites 2017
Before motor vehicles, people used to speed up their daily commute by bicycle. Bicycles have been around since the early 1800s, although it wasn't really until the 1880s that technology had made them possible to ride without the rider's bones being shaken to pieces.
Thanks to modern engineering, it's possible to manufacture racing cycles that weigh less then five kilos – that's about as heavy as large new-born baby. This means that racing cyclists can reach speeds of up to 25mph on the flat, or 40 km/h.
Cycling is a global pastime, and competitive cycling is a global sport. Countless races take place at all times of the year, usually at weekends. Sports betting enthusiasts are able to bet on major cycling events – such as the Tour de France – thanks to the prevalence on the internet of online betting sites.
Cycling – a little bit of history
Competitive cycling began as long ago as 1868, when a 1,200 meter race was held in Paris. It was won by Englishman James Moore, who survived the race despite his bike being made from wood and having solid iron tires.
Cycle racing became extremely popular extremely quickly. The International Cycling Association was formed in 1892, but fell apart a few years later because of a power struggle between France and Great Britain. The countries of Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and the USA formed the 'Union Cycliste Internationale' in 1892. This organisation remains the governing body of professional cycling, over one hundred years later.
The most famous cycling race is the Tour de France, which is an annual race that takes place in multiple stages, largely across the French nation. The race takes just over three weeks to complete, and covers well over two thousand miles in total.
The first winner of the race was Frenchman Maurice Garin, who won in 1903. The most successful winners have been Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault (both France), Eddy Merckx (Belgium) and Miguel Indurain (Spain), each with five wins. The American Lance Armstrong won the race seven times in succession from 1999 to 2005, but was subsequently stripped of his titles when it was discovered he had been using performance-enhancing substances during his cycling career.
Bradley Wiggins became the first UK winner of the Tour de France in 2012. Another Brit – Chris Froome – won the title in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Bradley Wiggins (or rather, Sir Bradley Wiggins, as he was knighted in 2103) is generally regarded as the greatest British cyclist of all time. He was the first-ever cyclist (in the world, not just the United Kingdom) to win gold medals in the Olympics on both the road and track. He was also the first cyclist to win world titles on both road and track. It is extremely rare for a cyclist to be able to rise to the top of his game in both road and track events. To add to all his achievements, Wiggins was voted the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2012.
Mark Cavendish is another name who has reached the top in both UK and international cycling, and some observers consider him to be the greatest sprinting cyclist of all time. Nicknamed the 'Manx Missile' (as Cavendish was born upon the Isle of Man), as of 2016 he had won an amazing thirty different stages of the Tour de France.
When it comes to the top cycling event though, the Tour de France is the one that every cycling hero dreams of winning, and when it comes to cycling sports betting, it's the one where the most money changes hands between punters and sports books. When it comes to the next championship (held annually at the beginning of July through to the third week of the same month) the name that's likely to attract the most amount of cash is two-time winner Chris Froome.
Despite being born in Kenya, Froome is a Brit through and through, born to parents who'd emigrated from England. Raised in Kenya and South Africa, Broome took to the bike as a road cyclist in Johannesburg, turning professional in 2007 when only twenty-two. Froome won his first Tour de France stage in 2012, and the full title in 2013. He followed this up with another victory in 2015, and then retained his title a year later.
For punters hoping for a Broome-free Tour de France victory, most money is likely to be placed on Nairo Quintana, Richie Porte and Alberto Contador. Colombian Quintana is one of the cycling world's greatest climbers, and he won major events in Italy in 2015 and Spain in 2016. He has already finished as runner-up twice to Froome, in 2013 and 2014.
Porte is an Australian cyclist of some repute, winning the young rider classification at the 2010 Giro d'Italia. He is now a team-mate of Broome, and one of the Brit's main rivals in all major cycling competitions. Contador has already won the Tour de France twice, but his last victory came in 2009, two years after his first. An all-rounder, Contador's career has been marked by a series of doping allegations, and he has been both stripped of titles and suspended for extended periods.
Cycling betting – how to bet
The easiest way to bet is via outright betting – you select a certain rider to win an event. You can also bet on riders to win certain stages of events (some riders are better than others in events with lots of climbs, for example). Some sports books will offer special bets on specific riders, such as 'Chris Froome to win at least three stages of the 2016 Tour de France'.
For the best cycling betting, read the reviews of sports books as provided here by us at latestbettingsites.co.uk.