Peter Sagan the stand out favourite... ahead of non-starter Fernando Gaviria

Milan-San Remo is just a few days away and there’s no surprise who the bookmakers are backing to take victory on the Via Roma on Saturday afternoon.

Three-time world champion Peter Sagan is the strong favourite among all bookies, with the best odds available for punters being 11/4 and some being as short as 2/1. If he is able to pick up the win in Milan-San Remo, then the bookies are also backing him to take unprecedented victories in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, which if he is able to achieve will make him the first rider to win the first three of cycling’s Monuments in the same season.

The second favourite might come as something of a surprise for anyone paying attention to yesterday’s stage at Tirreno-Adriatico, with most bookies still offering odds of around 6/1 on Fernando Gaviria, despite the Colombian sprinter requiring surgery on a broken hand after a crash meaning that he won’t be on the start line in Milan.

Defending champion Michal Kwiatkowski is available at similar odds to Gaviria after a succession of strong results at Tirreno and the Volta ao Algarve, while two more former champions, Alexander Kristoff and Arnaud Démare, are both priced at around 10/1.

>>> Milan-San Remo: how the last 15 editions have been won

The likes of Greg Van Avermaet, Matteo Trentin, Caleb Ewan, and Elia Viviani are all priced at around 33/1, while a collection of sprinters including Marcel Kittel, Michael Matthews, and the in-form Dylan Groenewegen all seem to offer decent value at 50/1.

Last year’s Milan-San Remo saw a group of three riders arrive together at the finish, but the three previous editions saw groups of between 25 and 31 riders contesting a bunch sprint in San Remo.

The 2018 edition looks set to be contested in wet conditions with a headwind along the coast, something that might thwart the efforts of any breakaway and raise the likelihood of another bunch sprint at the end of a 291km race.