UCI World Championships Betting Guide

UCI World Tour Cycling

Typically, cycling’s UCI Road World Championships is held in mid-August, a few weeks after the Tour de France has finished. This year, with the entire sports world having to condense their schedules following shutdowns due to the pandemic, the UCI Worlds will take place from Sep. 24th to Sep. 27th in Imola, Italy.

The annual event was originally scheduled to be held in the Aigle and Martigny regions of Switzerland, but was moved to Italy due to the current health restrictions throughout Europe.

In normal cycling seasons, there are a half dozen different events held at the World Championships. However, for the 2020 World Championships, there will be just four events: road courses and individual time trials for both men and women.

As of this writing, only the men’s road course race and time trial have cycling betting odds available. Let’s preview the available men’s races, look at some of the teams in these events, and take the rainbow jersey with our betting predictions.

2020 UCI World Championships Schedule

  • September 24th – Elite Women Time Trial
  • September 25th – Elite Men Time Trial
  • September 26th – Elite Women Road Course
  • September 27th – Elite Men Road Course

2020 UCI World Championships Time Trial

Both the men and the women time trials will be a single circuit of 31.7km (20 mi) long. For the men, this is the second shortest time trial distance since the event was introduced in 1994.

Rohan Dennis is the defending time trial world champion as he’s won it two years in a row. He will return to defend his title and shoot for a third straight gold medal in the TT, which would tie him with Tony Martin and Michael Rogers as the only men to accomplish three straight wins.

Both Tony Martin and Fabian Cancellara have won the men’s TT four times overall. Additionally, they hold the all-time mark for the most medals in this event with seven apiece.

The following is a list of previous World Championships Time Trial winners dating back to 2003:

  • Michael Rogers in 2003-2005
  • Fabian Cancellara in 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010
  • Bert Grabsch in 2008
  • Tony Martin in 2011-2013, 2016
  • Bradley Wiggins in 2014
  • Vasil Kieryienka in 2015
  • Tom Dumoulin in 2017
  • Rohan Dennis in 2018, 2019

2020 UCI World Championships Time Trial Betting Odds

The following cycling odds are courtesy of 888sport.com:

  • Filippo Ganna (+100)
  • Dennis Rohan (+350)
  • Wout Van Aert (+600)
  • Stefan Kung (+700)
  • Tom Dumoulin (+800)
  • Geraint Thomas (+4000)

There are over 40 cyclists with betting odds for this time trial listed at online betting sites. However, the listed cyclists above are the only ones with a realistic chance at winning the TT on Friday, September 25th:

Filippo Ganna (+100)

Ganna enters the time trial as the betting favorite. He won the bronze medal last year in this event and has gotten off to a fast start in 2020’s revamped season.

In August, Ganna won Italy’s national time trial championship by 50 seconds over second place Alessandro De Marchi.

While his teammates on Ineos had an epic collapse at the Tour de France, Ganna was competing in the Tirreno-Adriatico and won the Stage 8 time trial. Other notable competitors like Rohan Dennis finished 26 seconds back and Geraint Thomas finished 28 seconds back.

Ganna looks in great form and is going to be the man to beat on Friday.

Dennis Rohan (+350)

As mentioned, Dennis Rohan has won the last two World Championship time trials, which were the only two times that he has won a medal. For his career, Rohan has competed in this event on seven occasions. He’s finished in the Top 8 in six of those seven years.

Rohan skipped the Tour de France also and competed in the Tirreno-Adriatico where he was 3rd in the time trial. Earlier this year, Rohan competed in the Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta and finished 2nd in the Stag 5 time trial.

Dennis is highly successful rider with stage wins in multiple Grand Tours. He’s definitely a strong time trialist who is hoping to come into this weekend’s TT in top form.

Wout Van Aert (+600)

If you saw the 2020 Tour de France, which will go down as one of the greatest Tours in history, then you would’ve witnessed the brilliant riding by Wout Van Aert.

WVA was arguably the best rider in the Tour other than Tadej Pogacar. Not only did he beat out sprinters in flat stages, but he pulled his team up mountains and set a pace that ultimately cracked Egan Bernal and other top GC contenders. WVA won two stages in the 2020 TDF and finished 4th in the TT on Stage 20.

Also this year, WVA won the Belgium TT right before the TDF started, Stage 1 of the Criterium du Dauphine and took home the green jersey for this race as well. He also won Milano-Sanremo, finished 3rd at Milano-Torino and won Strade Bianch.

There is nothing you can put past this Belgian cyclist as he’s shown an incredible talent on flat or mountain stages and one day classics to three week Grand Tours.

This will be his first World Championships Time Trial.

Stefan Kung (+700)

Switzerland’s Stefan Kung will compete in his 6th World Championships TT this weekend, but has never finished higher than 10th place overall.

In 2020, Kung pulled out of the Tour de France before the start of Stage 17. So, we didn’t get to see him do the Stage 20 time trial.

Looking back on his season to date, Kung won the European Continental Championships TT and Switzerland’s National Championships TT. However, he finished 8th in the TT for Stage 4 of Paris-Nice and 3rd at the Stage 5 TT of the Volta ao Algarve em Bicicleta.

With these mixed results, it’s hard to feel as confident in Kung as other betting favorites.

Tom Dumoulin (+800)

Dumoulin returned from significant injuries to participate in the Tour de l’Ain and the Criterium du Dauphine in August. They were his first races in nearly a year.

From there, Dumoulin participated in the Tour de France and was a strong supporter of Primoz Roglic on Team Jumbo-Visma. He was also teammates with Wout Van Aert and Sepp Kuss.

Despite not being able to ride to a higher standing in the GC, because of not being in top form for the big mountain stages, Dumoulin still finished 2nd in the Stage 20 TT where he beat WVA and Roglic along with Richie Porte who finished 3rd in the GC.

This bodes well for his chances at the Worlds TT where he’s competed in this event five times. He has three Top 3s and four Top 5s in his career for this event. Furthermore, “Tom Dom” won this race in 2017 and finished runner-up in 2018. He didn’t compete in the TT for 2019 due to injuries.

Geraint Thomas (+4000)

I was slightly surprised to see Geraint Thomas listed for the TT. If anything, I would’ve guessed that Thomas enters the road course race where he’s competed seven times prior.

For Thomas, his 2020 season has been controversial due to being left off of the Team Ineos squad for the Tour de France. Thomas’ leadership and previous experience winning the 2018 TDF would’ve gone a long way towards helping Ineos this year.

Instead, Thomas competed in the Tirreno-Adriatico where he finished 2nd in the GC, 2nd in the points classification (green jersey), and 4th in the Stage 8 TT.

Thomas is a strong time trialist, but these betting odds accurately reflect his chances against some of the top time trialists in the sport today.

Who Will Win the World Championships TT?

Of the cyclists listed above, I would eliminate Thomas and Kung right off the bat. I don’t see either being able to compete with WVA, Dennis or Ganna.

Dumoulin offers some value at +800 odds, but I just don’t believe he’s at top form right now. Not after a lengthy hiatus from riding and just competing in a grueling three week Tour de France.

I believe the winner of this event will come down to: Ganna, Dennis and WVA.

I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen out of Rohan Dennis so far. Where WVA and Ganna have been winning stages, Dennis has yet to do so against top competition.

I would love to pick WVA to win this as he’s one of my favorite cyclists and just incredible on the bike. But, I think the road course suits him better.

The smart money is on Ganna to win this race after his strong results in recent time trials and his bronze medal in this event last year.

Who Will Win the World Championships TT? –Ganna (+100)

2020 UCI World Championships Road Race

This year’s road race will provide plenty of opportunities for fireworks as it’s a “hilly” stage with two climbs that are sharp, but nothing like what we just saw in the Tour de France.

There’s going to be roughly 5,000 feet of climbing throughout the race, which led to last year’s winner Mads Pedersen and a pre-race favorite for this year Mathieu van der Poel to skip the 2020 event.

The length of the stage is just shy of 29km and some of the sport’s top stars will be competing in this year’s event like the 2020 Tour de France podium finishers: Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic and Richie Porte. Along with Wout Van Aert, and Julian Aliphilippe.

The following is a list of previous winners dating back to 2010:

  • Thor Hushovd in 2010
  • Mark Cavendish in 2011
  • Philippe Gilbert in 2012
  • Rui Costa in 2013
  • Michal Kwiatkowski in 2014
  • Peter Sagan in 2015-2017
  • Alejandro Valverde in 2018
  • Mads Pedersen in 2019

2020 UCI World Championships Road Race Betting Odds

The following cycling betting odds are courtesy of Bet365:

  • Wout Van Aert (+350)
  • Julian Alaphilippe (+550)
  • Jakob Fuglsang (+900)
  • Michael Woods (+1200)
  • Primoz Roglic (+1200)
  • Marc Hirschi (+1200)
  • Tadej Pogacar (+1400)
  • Alejandro Valverde (+1400)
  • Michal Kwiatkowski (+1800)
  • Tom Pidcock (+2200)
  • Vincenzo Nibali (+2800)
  • Max Schachmann (+3300)
  • Michael Matthews (+5000)
  • Sepp Kuss (+5000)
  • Richie Porte (+8000)

The Betting Favorites to Win the Road Race

The following cyclists are the odds on favorites to win the World Championships Road Race on Sunday:

Wout Van Aert (+350)

I won’t repeat all of the accolades that I detailed in the TT section above for Wout Van Aert. But, I will once again state that he’s one of the most talented cyclists in the world.

WVA will be on Team Belgium and he has a stacked squad that includes Tim Wellens, Tiesj Benoot, Jasper Stuyven and Greg Van Avermaet.

I’m really surprised to see both GVA and WVA on the same team as both men are very capable of winning a race like this. With that said, Wout Van Aert is the betting favorite because he’s had such a dominant 2020 so far including an amazing performance in the 2020 Tour de France.

Julian Alaphilippe (+550)

Julian Alaphilippe will be the main man for Team France as this is the perfect course for the French star. He will have Guillaume Martin, Rudy Molard and Nans Peters to support him throughout the event.

Alaphilippe has competed in four of these World Championships road races before. His best finish came in 2018 when he was 8th. Last year, Alaphilippe finished 28th, which knocked him out of the Top 10 for the first time since 2015.

The revised 2020 season has seemed to throw Alaphilippe off a little bit in 2020. He did win Stage 2 at the Tour de France and also briefly held the yellow jersey, but it was all “downhill” for him the rest of the way.

To give you an example of his 2020 season compared to his 2019 season, Alaphilippe finished 5th at the 2019 TDF, but he was 36th this year. Also last year, Alaphilippe won numerous stages and races. This year, he has just one stage win and that’s it.

I’m concerned that Alaphilippe just doesn’t look as good as he did last year and I have a hard time putting money on or confidence in the Frenchman for this weekend’s road race.

Jakob Fuglsang (+900)

Fuglsang has had a solid 2020 season so far as he’s won Il Lombardia, Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol, and finished Top 6 at Giro dell’Emila, Tour de Pologne and Strade Bianche.

Fuglsang is considered a Grand Tour rider with GC capabilities. Unfortunately, he’s yet to even crack the Top 10 in this road race in seven previous tries. His best result was last year when he finished 12th.

Fuglsang will lead Team Denmark this weekend and is considered one of the betting favorites. Yet, I would suggest looking at other riders instead. Fuglsang is overvalued in my opinion.

Michael Woods (+1200)

Team Canada’s Michael Woods will make his 5th start in the World Champions road race this weekend. His best result came in 2018 when he finished 3rd overall and won the bronze medal. Last year, Woods scored a DNF.

In 2020, Woods has turned it up in September with a strong performance at Tirreno-Adriatico. He finished 8th overall, but also scored a 3rd in the mountains category and 5th in the points classification. Woods won Stage 3 at this race and led overall for a few days.

Woods is another “punchy” cyclist who can hang in the mountains and race on the flat stages. He’s won a Grand Tour stage and a one day classic in his career, but I’m not sure that the Canadian star cyclist will have enough firepower to take on WVA and Aliphilippe.

Primoz Roglic (+1200)

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was sad to see how Primoz Roglic lost the Tour de France last weekend due to a poor showing in the Stage 20 time trial. He had led the TDF for nearly two weeks before losing the yellow jersey and the stage to fellow countryman Tadej Pogacar.

Pogacar will also be on Team Slovenia this weekend, which makes me wonder who will get the full support on Sunday: Roglic or Pogacar.

Roglic has looked strong since the return of the cycling season, but was unable to match what Pogacar did in the time trial.

It will be interesting to see how Roglic and Pogacar work together after putting in so much effort during their battle against each other to win the yellow jersey at the TDF.

The Best Betting Value

The following cyclists offer betting value for this weekend’s road race due to their current season, past success, and overall ability to ride hilly/punchy stages:

Tadej Pogacar (+1400)

Pogacar just turned 22 years old and it looks like there’s nothing he can’t do on a bike. He rode a brilliant race in the Tour de France and smashed everyone on the Stage 20 time trial up a mountain.

This weekend’s road race doesn’t have the same difficulty as the TDF time trial did, but I wouldn’t rule out Pogacar just because there are other riders that this course suits better.

This young rider is magical on the bike and he clearly has all of the confidence in the world heading into Sunday’s World Championships road race.

Could Pogacar win the Tour de France and the World Championships one week apart?

Alejandro Valverde (+1400)

“Old Man” Alejandro Valverde should not be overlooked heading into this road race. Although he’s 40 years old, Valverde won this event in 2018. Yet, when you look over his resume for this race, you can’t help but marvel at what he’s accomplished.

Valverde has competed in the World Championships road race 13 times and has won the most medals for this event. In addition to his one gold, Valverde also has two silvers and four bronzes which gives him the all-time record of seven total medals.

Alejandro would be higher on the list of favorites if it wasn’t for two of his Team Spain teammates (Enric Mas and Marc Soler) that could also do really well on Sunday.

Enric Mas finished 5th at this year’s TDF and was 2nd in the race’s white jersey competition. He was 9th on Stage 20’s time trial, which teammates Marc Soler finished 13th and Valverde finished 47th. For the TDF, Valverde came in 12th and Soler was 21st.

Depending on how he looks during this race, Valverde could get the green light to go for the win or Team Spain could look towards Enric Mas. Either way, Team Spain is going to be a force in this Sunday’s road race.

Top Longshot to Win the Road Race

Don’t sleep on Team Australia in this road race as they have a solid team that features both Richie Porte (+8000) and Michael Matthews (+5000). Between these two riders, the smart money is on Matthews to have the better performance and to compete for the overall win.

Porte looked great in the 2020 Tour de France as he finished 3rd overall and on the podium. A 4th place result in the Stage 20 time trial catapulted him up in the standings and to his best ever finish in the TDF.

Now, he turns right around, like several other TDF riders, to compete in the WC road race. However, I believe he’s going there to help Matthews instead of the other way around.

Matthews has participated in this road race seven times and has three Top 4 finishes including a silver in 2015 and a bronze in 2017. Last year, he was 24th overall.

Matthews didn’t compete in the 2020 TDF as he was left off Team Sunweb and is now transferring back to Mitchelton-Scott. It was a controversial decision akin to Team Ineos leaving Thomas and Froome off their TDF squad.

Matthews has had a solid season so far with a 3rd at Milano-Sanremo, 1st at Bretagne Classic, and was 4th in the mountains classification at Tirreno-Adriatico where he also finished 10th in the Stage 8 TT.

With the motivation of being snubbed, a course that suits him, and a strong Australian squad, watch out for Matthews this Sunday.

Any Other Teams to Keep an Eye On?

In addition to the teams mentioned above, both Team Italy and Team USA should also make some noise in this road race.

Team Italy would love to win this road race especially since they’re hosting the event. The team is built around Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali (+2800) who skipped the Tour de France this year.

Instead, Nibali finished 19th at the Tirreno-Adriatico. Other highlights of his season so far have been 4th at Paris-Nice and 6th at Il Lombardia.

Team USA will feature Lawson Craddock, Neilson Powless and Sepp Kuss (+5000). Both Powless and Kuss became American stars in this year’s TDF with Kuss finishing 15th overall. Kuss could be a future Grand Tour winner.

Powless was constantly getting into breakaways and showed that he has plenty of talent to win one day classics and stages in the future.

Who Wins the 2020 UCI World Championships Road Race?

It’s going to be exciting watching this road race on Sunday as riders we just saw teaming up for three weeks in the Tour de France will now be competing against each other.

Despite this weekend’s race having many big stars in it, I believe it all comes down to three riders: Wout Van Aert, Julian Aliphillipe and Michael Matthews.

These three cyclists have the speed to go over the hills and to outrace the climbers on the flat portions of the race.

With that said, I am going with Wout Van Aert to capture the rainbow jersey as he outsprints Alaphillipe, Matthews and the rest of the field to win the 2020 World Championships Road Race.

WVA showed how strong he was in the TDF and he’s had a fantastic 2020 season so far. If he’s recovered from the TDF then I believe he will smash the field on Sunday.

2020 UCI World Championships RR Winner –Van Aert (+350)

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed “King of the Blog” in his first year with the site. …

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