How many people cycle as a sport in europe? how many watch cycling? how many do both?
While there is no preexisting information to fully answer your question, we've used the available data to pull together some key findings about cycling in Europe. There are 1,500 professional bike riders worldwide. Using that number, we calculated that around 149 professional riders are from Europe. The amount of Europeans that watch cycling ranges between 1.5 to 7.3 million, varying from one event to another. The total that do both is unknown due to the fact that the two main sources of information either focused on how many cyclists there are (Union Cycliste Internationale) or on viewership numbers (Cyclist.co.uk), but not both.
Sport Cyclists In Europe
Cycling in Europe has quite a large community, with countries like France and the Netherlands using bicycles as a main mode of transportation. A study on 7 European countries found that 3-28% of all trips conducted were made with bicycles. Statistics on cycling were hard to come by, especially when considering it is a pastime sport.
There are 500,000 licensed cycling competitors and 1,500 fully professional riders worldwide, according to the Union Cycliste Internationale statistics conducted in 2016. 9.9% of the 1,500 professional competitors were European, translating in 149 professional European riders cycling professionally and 49,500 people cycling at the amateur or semi-pro level in 2016.
Watching Cycling Sport in Europe
The number of people watching cycling depends on the popularity of the event. An example of this is the number of people that watched the Olympic cycling competitions in 2016 versus the amount of people that watched the Tour de France in 2017. The Olympic cycling was watched by 1.5 Million people, whereas the Tour de France, the largest cycling sport event, hit record numbers in 2017, peaking at 7.3 million viewers. This trend suggests that European people watching cycling as a sport focus on larger events, instead of consistently staying engaged.
There were no statistics about the percent of viewers that partake in cycling. We searched through Union Cycliste Interationale's collection of data, BBC Sport's database, Eurosport, and others. The reason for that is probably because data like that is not really useful. However, we could consider that the 49,500 people that engage in cycling as amateurs or semi-pros watch cycling as well since they are clearly interested in the sport. Using the viewership numbers from the 2016 Olympic Games(1,500,000) and the 2017 Tour de France (7,300,000), we could estimate that between 0.65% and 3.3% of the people watching cycling also practice the sport.
Finding the statistics for the view ship proved difficult, only managing to find a large viewing range of 1.5 to 7.3 Million people interested in watching cycling on TV. On the other hand, the number of professional European cyclists was a mere 149 out of a 1,500 professional cyclists worldwide, which represents only 9.9% of the total. It was also unclear what the definition of "sport" was in the prompt (competitive vs. pastime), so I provided the majority of the data on competitive cycling in Europe, as it had more statistic available to use compared to pastime.