Who are the bookies’ favourites to win the Amstel Gold Race 2019?

Five former winners will take the start line, but who will win the first of the Ardennes Classics this year?

Amstel Gold Race 2017 (Marel Van Hoorn/AFP/Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The Amstel Gold Race opens up the Ardennes Classics before we head on to La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Taking place on Sunday April 21 2019, the 263km course is always fiercely raced, with short, punchy climbs littered throughout the day.

Five former winners will take the start line. Michael Valgren is the defending champion, but has switched from Astana to Dimension Data, and lines up alongside two team-mates, 2013's victor Roman Kreuziger and two-time winner Enrico Gasparotto.

Team Sky's Michał Kwiatkowski won in 2015, and Paris-Roubaix winner Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) has emerged victorious on four occasions, the most recent in 2017.

A strong field throws up many potential winners, so here's who the bookmakers are backing to win in the Netherlands.

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) is certainly living up to the hype, with wins in Brabantse Pijl and Dwars door Vlaanderen as well as top five finishes in the Tour of Flanders and Ghent-Wevelgem in his debut spring Classics campaign. He's favourite to win at 7/2.

After such a strong spring, from both the Frenchman and his Belgian team, it's no surprise Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) is second favourite at 6/1. Alaphilippe finished in the top 10 last year, and so far in 2019 has picked up wins in Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche, and a stage of the Tour of the Basque Country, before crashing out and abandoning the stage race.

Julian Alaphilippe at Brabantse Pijl 2019 (Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Despite his 24th place finish last year, Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) registered three top 10 finishes in the Amstel Gold race between 2015-2017. A win in the finish town of Vilt-Valkenburg would drastically improve Sunweb's spring.

It would be worrying if Peter Sagan wasn't in the top five favourites to win a one-day race. However the Slovakian has so far struggled for results in 2019, only managing top five finishes in Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix. Sagan will be looking to better his fourth place finish in last year's race. His odds are 9/1.

Peter Sagan at Paris-Roubaix 2019 (Dirk Waem/AFP/Getty Images)
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe team mate, Max Schachmann, is also valued at 9/1. The German took the Tour of the Basque Country by storm earlier this month, taking three stages and holding the leader's jersey for the first four days.

World road race champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is the first of the outside bets, with odds of 16/1. He's finished in the top five on five different occasions, and came fourth last year. Having previously won La Flèche Wallonne five times and Liège-Bastogne-Liège four times, Valverde will be looking to complete the Ardennes Classics set with a win on Sunday.

Michał Kwiatkowski has so far only raced Milan San-Remo of the spring Classics season, finishing an impressive third. But the pedigree of the Amstel Gold Race 2015 winner means he's valued at 16/1, in what will be one of his final races in Team Sky kit before their imminent transformation to Team Ineos.

Michal Kwiatkowski at Milan-San Remo 2019 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fresh from his Paris-Roubaix win, Philippe Gilbert arrives in great form. His Deceuninck – Quick-Step team have been formidable so far in 2019, and with both the four-time Amstel Gold Race winner (offered at 18/1 for the win) and Alaphilippe on the start line, it wouldn't be too surprising to see a rider clad in blue and white kit on the top step of the podium.

Lotto-Soudal's Tim Wellens has two top three finishes at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Brabantse Pijl so far this spring, and will be looking to build on last year's sixth place finish in the Amstel Gold Race. The Belgian is also valued at 18/1.

Closing out the top 10 of favourites is Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). Finishing eighth last year, and with a promising second place finish in Strade Bianche last month, the Dane is 25/1 to win his first ever spring Classic.

Amstel Gold Race 2019 odds (Winner - Oddschecker)

Mathieu Van Der Poel (Ned) Corendon-Circus 7/2

Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step 6/1

Michael Matthews (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 9/1

Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 9/1

Max Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 9/1

Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar 16/1

Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 16/1

Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step 18/1

Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto-Soudal 18/1

Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana 25/1

All odds correct at time of publication

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