Forty per cent of bets on the RTTC National Hill-Climb Championships were placed on the defeated defending champion Dan Evans (Cannondale UK – Team Elite), as figures reveal the event attracted as much money as a Tour de France stage would.
Richard Bussell (RST Sport – Aero-Coach) won the event at Jackson Bridge, near Holmfirth in Yorkshire on Sunday, in a time of 4-15.6 on the 0.9-mile course. Evans, who had posted 4-11 on the course two weeks previous, was 4.9 seconds adrift in second.
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Bookmaker Paddy Power responded to a request from a friend of Evans to take bets on the event, and they received in excess of 500 bets.
“The amount of money taken was similar to a Tour de France stage, which is massive for this kind of event given it was not on TV,” a spokesman for Paddy Power told Cycling Weekly.
The Irish company were offering outright and each way bets on the men’s championships and outright bets on the women’s championships, won for a third successive time by Maryka Sennema.
Having won eight hill-climbs this autumn, 40 per cent of bets placed were on Evans, who saw his opening price fall from 9/2 to evens on Sunday morning. He was “massively backed” on Saturday, according to the bookmakers.
Bussell, who became the first rider to win the National 10-mile and Hill-Climb Championships in the same year, was the second most popular selection, with nine per cent of bets placed on him, falling from starting odds of 14/1 to 9/1.
The women’s event attracted around 100 bets, with Becky Lewis (Fibrax–Wreham RC) the most popular selection. She missed out on a podium place by 1.2 seconds, finishing fourth.
In total, 33 riders were backed, with Edmund Bradbury the biggest mover – tumbling from 25/1 to 8/1. The NFTO rider, however, finished ninth.
The spokesman added: “Overall it was a popular event for existing cycling customers and it also attracted a good amount of new custom.
“Given the popularity, we’ll definitely be offering again, plus hopefully more similar events next year. We will certainly continue to cover it in the future.”
A breakdown of where the money went:
- Dan Evans (40% of the total amount stakes)
- Richard Bussell (9%)
- Matt Clinton (8%)
- Edmund Bradbury (8%)
- Adam Kenway (7%)
- Joseph Clark (7%)
- Jim Henderson (3%)
- James Lowden (2%)
- Tejvan Pettinger (1.5%)
- Tom Bell (1.5%)
- Others (13%)