It’s never too early to start thinking about the 2016 season – something has to keep us going through these lean winter months – and if betting is your thing then you can find some early odds on Paddy Power for next year’s Spring Classics.
Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege are the four spring races you can place your money on at the moment, and there’s some decent money to be had, if you pick the eventual winner.
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First up: Milan-San Remo comes in March and Alexander Kristoff is favourite to repeat his 2014 victory with odds of 9/2 that the Norwegian will win. Peter Sagan (5/1), reigning champion John Degenkolb (6/1) and Michael Matthews are (9/1) are the next best-priced riders.
For some slightly longer odds you could back Classics specialist Fabian Cancellara at an incredible 33/1. The Swiss has finished on the podium in four of the last five years, with his lowest finish being seventh in that time. He also won La Primavera in 2008.
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Kristoff is again favourite to win Flanders, the biggest of his many wins in 2015, with odds of 3/1 looking a little short. Sagan (5/1), Cancellara (7/1) and Greg Van Avermaet (8/1) are also among the favourites.
Another outsider worth backing, at 25/1, is Lotto-Soudal’s phenom Tiesj Benoot, who finished fifth in the race this year and will only improve with age.
John Degenkolb took an excellent win at Paris-Roubaix this year and is therefore unsurprisingly favourite to win again this year, with odds of 3/1. A good man to back at longer odds could be Etixx-Quick-Step’s Zdenek Stybar (18/1), who finished second to Degenkolb this year and has really found his feet in the Classics in recent years.
Alejandro Valverde (3/1) is the bookies’ pick to add a fourth Liege-Bastogne-Liege title in April, but Joaquim Rodriguez (7/1), Vincenzo Nibali (9/1) and new Team Sky man Michal Kwiatkowski (9/1) are all tipped to challenge the Movistar man.