Tokyo Olympics: Who are the bookies’s favourite to win the road races?

The men and women will fight for gold in Tokyo this weekend - these are the favourites

Who are the favourites for the Olympic road races?
Who are the favourites for the Olympic road races?
(Image credit: Getty)

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are finally here and the cycling action kicks off with the road races this weekend, but who are the bookmakers’s favourites to take gold? 

Racing starts with the men’s road race on Saturday (July 24), on a tough 234km course around Mount Fuji, followed by the women’s event on a shorter 137km course the following day. 

The Olympics road race is always one of the most brutal and unpredictable races on the calendar, so choosing a favourite is always a challenge.

But the bookmakers’ have given their odds in this year’s races and here are the choices: 

In the women’s race, bet365 have odds for the gold medal winner and there are three big favourites to take glory in Japan.

The favourite is currently Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen, with odds of 9/4. The reigning time trial and road race world champion has been on flying form again this year, winning the Giro Donne for a fourth time.

But she will be facing a serious challenge from her compatriot and eternal rival Annemiek van Vleuten, who hasn’t raced since early June to focus all her attention on the Olympics. 

Van Vleuten is currently second favourite with odds of 4/1. 

After that, we have another Dutch rider in the running, according to the bookies, as Marianne Vos is third favourite at 6/1. 

Meanwhile Britain’s Lizzie Deignan is also among the front runners, at 7/1, after a strong fourth-place finish overall in the Giro. 

Other contenders include Demi Vollering (Ned, 8/1), Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita, 14/1) and Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol, 22/1). 

In the men’s race, Oddschecker has compiled a list of the favourites for the win as riders finish on the Fuji International Speedway on Saturday.

Oddly, the rider with the shortest odds is Norway’s Sven Erik Bystrøm, who isn’t actually racing the Olympics because he’s out with a fractured vertebrae after his National Championships in June.

So ignoring that anomaly, the current favourite is Primož Roglič (Slovenia) with odds of 8/1. Roglič has been out of action since he left the Tour de France after a crash but has been focussing his attention on the Olympics 

Alejandro Valverde (Spain) is second favourite, with 25/1, while Adam Yates (Great Britain) also has the same odds.

Simon Yates (also Great Britain) is next in line with 33/1. 

Bizarrely, the list of favourites is missing probably the strongest rider in the world right now, Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia) who will be lining up in Tokyo after dominating the Tour de France in the weeks prior. Wout Van Aert and Remco Evenepoel (both Belgium) are also missing.  

>>> Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games cycling schedule: when to watch the racing

Other contenders include Michael Woods (Canada, 40/1), Vincenzo Nibali (Ita, 50/1) and Bauke Mollema (Netherlands, 50/1). 

Geraint Thomas (Great Britain) meanwhile is a long way down the order, at 150/1. 

Reigning Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium) is 250/1. 

Women’s Tokyo Olympic road race 2021 odds (Gold medal Winner - bet365)

Anna van der Breggen (Ned), 9/4
Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned), 4/1
Marianne Vos (Ned), 6/1
Lizzie Deignan (GBr), 7/1
Demi Vollering (Ned), 8/1
Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita), 14/1
Marta Bastianelli (Ita), 22/1
Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol), 22/1
Lotte Kopecky (Bel, 22/1
Coryn Rivera (USA), 25/1

Men’s Tokyo Olympic road race 20201 odds (Gold medal winner - Oddschecker)

Primoz Roglic (Slo), 8/1
Alejandro Valverde (Esp), 25/1
Adam Yates (GBr), 25/1
Simon Yates (GBr), 33/1
Michael Woods (Can), 40/1
Vincenzo Nibali (Ita), 50/1
Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz), 50/1
Bauke Mollema (Ned), 50/1
Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol), 50/1
Jakob Fuglsang (Den), 80/1

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.