Best Bets for the 2021 Vuelta a España

| August 14, 2021 6:09 am PDT

The Vuelta a España is one of the three Grand Tours of cycling and the final one to happen in a calendar year. This makes it the last chance for elite riders to get ahold of accolades, as well as improve their ICU rankings.

Knowing all this, you cannot be surprised that almost all the top sites for betting on sports are covering the 2021 race. They’ve released the odds for the 2021 Vuelta a España winner, as well as for many other betting markets.

To get you ready, be sure to check out my 2021 Vuelta a España betting preview.

I will now cover most of the markets, providing my betting picks along the way. Lets’ start with the Vuelta a España winner market.

Best Bet to Win the 2021 Vuelta a España – Primoz Roglic (2.10)

Which rider is going to win the general classification at the 2021 Vuelta? My pick is Primoz Roglič.

The reason? The 30-year-old is one of the greatest athletes in the history of the sport. He has been sitting at the throne of Vuelta a España for the past two consecutive years.

If that’s not enough to believe Roglič will win his third Vuelta in a row, here are a few other reasons:

  • Roglič is currently #3 in the UCI Rankings
  • He holds the record for the longest time spent at the UCI #1 (75 weeks)
  • Roglič is hungry for titles after missing out on Giro d’Italia action and crashing at Tour de France
  • His only Grand Tour wins happened in Spain, suggesting that he loves this route
  • He’s coming to Spain after winning Olympic gold in time trials in Tokyo

Top cycling sportsbooks like BetOnline align with my pick, giving odds as short as 2.10 on the reigning Vuelta a España champion. His main rival in the 2021 race is Egan Bernal, who’s priced at 6.00.

Although Bernal definitely has what it takes to win the Vuelta, I don’t think it’s going to happen this year. Instead, I expect Roglič to keep the red jersey in his possession.

Sleeper Pick for the 2021 Vuelta a España – Mikel Landa (15.00)

The main storyline of the 2021 race is the rivalry between Roglič and Bernal. The two seem much better than all the other 200-ish riders.

They’re the only two, whose odds come in single-digit numbers. All the rest have odds of over 10.00 (or over +900 if you prefer the American format).

Of course, odds don’t always tell the truth, especially when cycling betting is discussed. That’s why other riders mustn’t be ignored!

This is especially true for Mikel Landa, who’s just won the Vuelta a Burgos. If the name of the race rings a bell, it’s because Burgos is where the Spanish Grand Tour starts.

So, he’s already gotten used to the terrain, but does he have the legs to win the red shirt?

Although he’s turning 32 this year, the Spaniard seems to be in the top form of his life.

Earlier this year, we saw him doing great in the first couple of stages of the Giro d’Italia. Unfortunately for him, he crashed his bike on stage 5, fracturing his clavicle and several ribs. Three months have passed since and Landa looks like he’s ready to give a shot at another Grand Tour.

Sure, no one should think of him as a favorite – his Vuelta a España odds are as long as 15.00 – but he definitely has a good chance of finishing among the top 10. The odds for such a scenario playing out are currently 1.33.

Points Classification Pick – Primoz Roglic (8.00)

The rider who finishes the race before anyone else is the winner of the general classification. In layman’s terms, he’s the winner of the race.

Then, there’s also the points classification. How it works is that the winners of individual stages earn points; the one who has the most points at the end of the race is the winner of the points classification.

Considering that each stage comes with a different number of points, the general winner doesn’t necessarily have to win this classification as well. In fact, we only saw it happen 11 times in the past 75 Vueltas.

However, it did happen in the previous two years – Primoz Roglič won both classifications in 2019 and 2020.

Will he do it again? I think so. However, this time, oddsmakers don’t agree with me. Instead, the betting favorite is Arnauld Demare at 2.75.

The odds on the reigning champ are 8.00. I say go for it!

King of the Mountains Pick – Geoffrey Bouchard (13.00)

The winner of the mountains classifications gets the polka dot jersey and is named the king of the mountains. Who is it going to be at this year’s Vuelta?

Primoz Roglič is the favorite in the bookies’ eyes. However, I have to disagree – riding across mountains isn’t his strongest weapon.

Last year, he finished in the #6 position in the mountains classification. A year earlier, he wasn’t even among the top 10.

So, who’s going to be the king of the mountains at the 2021 Vuelta? I think Geoffrey Bouchard might.

First of all, he already won it two years ago. Secondly, he seems to be in a mountain-climbing mood in 2021, having already won the mountains classification at Giro d’Italia.

The Frenchman then took a break – not taking part in his native country’s Grand Tour – but he is back now.

Bouchard’s odds for winning this classification are 13.00 right now, meaning that there’s plenty of money to be made if he actually does it!

Young Rider Classification Pick – Egan Bernal (1.57)

It’s got to be Egan Bernal. He’s still 24 years of age, which makes him eligible for this category.

He might not win the entire race, but he’s certainly the main favorite for the young rider classification. The odds for that happening are 1.57.

Sure, the price isn’t too attractive, but if there’s a banker bet at the 2021 Vuelta, it’s Egan Bernal winning the young rider classification.

If he does it (better say, when he does it), it’s going to be his third win in this category at Grand Tours. Previously, he won the young rider classification at the 2019 Tour de France and 2021 Giro d’Italia.

Betting on the 2021 Vuelta a España

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when betting on the Vuelta a España in 2021. Not only can you target the top favorites and sleepers to win the actual race, but there are other ways to profit.

Stick with my best bets for the 2021 Vuelta a España, and you should be in good shape.

Of course, it always pays to brush up on other tips and strategies. If you’re not familiar with the race or cycling betting in general, check out this guide to betting on cycling.

Zarko Naric
Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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