By Chris Marshall-Bell published
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.
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%)
Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.
Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.
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