Arguably the most exciting race of the spring Classics is nearly upon us, as Paris-Roubaix 2019 is only days away.
One of the biggest days on the racing calendar, the unpredictable and chaotic nature of the race can boil down to luck as much as form, with absolutely no certainties as to who will cross the line first.
Three former winners will be on the start line, reigning champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), 2017's winner Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team), and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) who won in 2015. Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie), the 2014 champion, will be recovering at home after crashing in the Tour of Flanders last week.
A stacked field means it's difficult to pick out a winner, but who are the bookmakers backing to have their name inscribed on a plaque in the Roubaix showers?
True to form, the bookies have last year's winner Peter Sagan down as favourite despite his slow start to the season, with odds of 9/2.
John Degenkolb, who won the race four years ago, is second favourite at 9/1. He will be looking to add another Paris-Roubaix win to his impressive palmarès that also includes a Milan-San Remo victory and a Tour de France stage win.
Alexander Kristoff's (UAE Team Emirates) surprise win at Ghent-Wevelgem last month means the bookies are offering 10/1 odds for the Norwegian to emerge victorious.
The Belgian Oliver Naesen (AG2r) has impressed so far this spring, with a string of top-10 finishes in races such as the Tour of Flanders and Ghent-Wevelgem. Most notably, he finished second to Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) at Milan-San Remo a month ago.
It might be a surprise to see former champion Greg Van Avermaet (CCC) down as fifth favourite, but the Olympic road race champion has so far struggled for results this year, with the bookies offering odds of 12/1.
Three-time cyclocross world champion Wout Van Aert (Jumbo Visma) is backed in at 14/1. The young Belgian is riding his second ever Paris-Roubaix after finishing 13th last year.
Deceuninck-Quick-Step have an illustrious roster that have picked up a multitude of wins already this season, with Yves Lampaert favourite to bring a win home for the Belgian team this Sunday. Lampaert is yet to win a Monument in his career, but has been given odds of 14/1 to do it this time.
An impressive fifth place finish in the Tour of Flanders last week sees Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) next in the list of favourites, with odds of 16/1. The German posted a strong seventh place finish in Paris-Roubaix 2018, can he better his result this year?
Always a bridesmaid, never the bride. Zdeněk Štybar (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) has finished runner up on two previous occasions (2015 and 2017) and will be looking to finally go one better and win his first ever Monument.
Lotto-Soudal's Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal), who hasn't raced Paris-Roubaix since 2016, rounds out the top-10 favourites. He's never finished inside the top-100 on the cobbles but has odds of 22/1 to significantly improve his result in this year's race.
Paris-Roubaix 2019 odds (Winner – Oddschecker)
Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 9/2
John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo 9/1
Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 10/1
Oliver Naesen (Bel) Ag2r La Mondiale 11/1
Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team 12/1
Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo Visma 14/1
Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step 14/1
Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin 16/1
Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Deceuninck – Quick-Step 18/1
Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto-Soudal 22/1
All odds correct at the time of publication
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