As a race promoter at Hellyer Velodrome I hoped to one day set up chalk board and take bets on the madison, keirin
and points races. What could drum up more interest in track racing than gambling like they do in Japan? I was inspired by attending the Gold Cup when I lived in Virginia
, and early bets I had placed on the Tour de France before the fallout
started in 2010.
I never got around to getting a board set up at the races. I worried the county, which runs the velodrome, would frown on it. However, the popularity of racing in the UK has increased the breadth of World Tour races that bookies are looking at. If you go to Betfair Cycling Odds
, you can check out the most recent handicap for the spring classics. The line up includes MSR, Ronde, and Paris Roubaix
which have been great races to spectate the last few years. They also have odds for Le Tour, but that seems too far away when I can still see snow on the ground.
A couple of thoughts from the odds. I was surprised that the bookies had such high hopes for Fabian Cancellara this year. He is heavily favored for both De Ronde and Paris-Roubaix.
- MSR 14/1
- Ronde 5/2
- Paris-Roubaix 4/1
Given the recent talk about his possible retirement,
it struck me as an interesting vote of confidence. I expect the next few weeks or racing will rapidly change the odds as it becomes obvious who is going well. There are a couple of dark horse bargains in there like Stybar, Terpstra, and Van Avermaet that could be scooped up at great odds.
The bookies aren’t holding out much hope that any U.S. riders will challenge for any of the titles. Farrar, TJay, and Talansky are the top Americans listed.
- Farrar @ MSR 50/1
- Van Garderen @ LeTour 66/1
- Talansky @ Le Tour 80/1
Thinking about LeTour in February seems pointless, but both TJay and Talansky seem like good long shots at those odds. They are not quite at the now or never age, but if everything goes right they could sneak onto the podium or even win.
There is a lot of time to get in on the action as MSR is about a month away.
- March 22nd MSR
- April 4th Ronde
- April 12th Paris Roubaix
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