Cycling may not be what we would consider a traditional ‘betting’ sport, but it makes for a great addition to the world of virtual sports betting.

For most of us, track cycling only makes an impression once every four years when the Olympic Games come around, and for that reason it is not the type of racing that bookmakers usually focus on. However when it comes to virtual sports betting, cycling is a popular option due to the speed of the events and the simplicity of how the races are run.

What is virtual cycling?

Virtual cycling allows customers to place bets on simulations of track cycling events which play out ‘live’ every couple of minutes at online bookies’ sites. The riders are given odds before the start of the race based on the weighted chance for each of them to win, leaving a small margin of around five percent for the bookmakers, of course.

A random number generator determines the outcome of the race, and the punter gets to watch the highly realistic race play out on screen.

Virtual cycling bet types

When it comes to placing bets on virtual cycling, the markets you will be offered are very similar to those you will find for virtual horse racing.

Naturally the most straightforward option is simply to pick a winner from the six racers. And if you want to minimize the risk, you can go for an each-way bet which pays out a quarter of the odds if your cyclist finishes in either first or second place.

The riskier bets are forecast and tricast options, where the punter has the opportunity to predict the first two or first three finishers in the correct order.

Virtual cycling viewing experience

If you have ever seen track cycling before you will know what to expect from the virtual version of the sport. It is a simple race around a curved indoor track, and the riders are very easy to follow as they are wearing a shirt and helmet in their particular colour.

The sounds of the crowd are reproduced on screen to give an authentic feel to the race, and from the vantage point we follow the race you wouldn’t know it was a virtual race if you didn’t know better. Commentary helps to generate excitement although the fact that the riders are referred to as ‘blue’, ‘red’ and so on is a bit of a giveaway that you’re not watching the real thing!

Is betting on virtual cycling fair?

Like all forms of virtual sports betting, virtual cycling has to deal with the sceptics who refuse to believe that a virtual race is as fair and equitable as a real one. Those people maintain that the bookmaker will actively manipulate the outcome of a race to ensure that the result goes in their favour.

So are the sceptics correct? The short answer is a resounding ‘No’!

Online bookies have too much to lose, because manipulating the result of even one virtual sports event could lead to them losing their licence and thus effectively going out of business. The random number generating software which determines the outcome of virtual cycling races is regularly tested by independent bodies to ensure that it is working correctly and that the bookmaker cannot predict the results of the races.

Pros and cons of virtual cycling

You will need to be pretty lucky to find televised indoor cycling events running at the exact time that you are ready to place a bet, so the virtual version of the sport is a much handier option for most people.

While hardcore cycling fans would have a distinct advantage over the average punter when it comes to real life races, virtual cycling evens the playing field and gives everybody an equal shot at picking the winner. The races are fast and the bright primary colours worn by the cyclists makes them extremely easy to follow, all of which makes for a fun option for virtual sports betting fans.