The second of the five Monuments of the year is almost upon us with the Tour of Flanders and some of the biggest names in cycling are down to race.
Taking place this Sunday (April 4) the race also known as the Ronde Van Vlaanderen or 'De Ronde' takes on a massive distance of 263.7km with multiple hellish cobbled climbs along the way from Antwerp to Oudenaarde in the men's race, with the women taking on 157km with a similar course.
Some of the world's best are set to ride the race including defending champions, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx) both set to ride, but are they the riders bookies are tipping?
In the men's race, it's the big three that are, once again, that are the big favourites. Van der Poel, last year's runner-up Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), along with E3 Saxo Bank Classic winner Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) and Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) make up the top five favourites
The women's race should be an extremely exciting one, as usual, but sadly we are unable to find any odds for the race as of yet. We will update the page if/when we find them. The favourites are likely to be Van den Broek-Blaak, Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx), Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar), Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), Lotte Kopecky (Liv), Elisa Longo-Borghini, and Lizzie Deignan (both Trek-Segafredo), to name a few.
But who's the number one favourite?
Understandably the man that tops the list on Oddschecker is Van der Poel with his odds sitting at 16/5. This is due to his outstanding performances winning two stages at Tirreno-Adriatico and Strade Bianche along with some superbly strong performances in the Classics so far.
Next in line is Van Aert at 7/2. After looking almost untouchable at Tirreno-Adriatico, he has won Ghent-Wevelgem as well as being in the mix for several other races. A super-fast sprinter, he just lost out on victory to Van der Poel in 2020 due to the Dutch champion's vicious acceleration.
Current world champion Alaphlippe is next in line with his odds set at 8/1. The Frenchman looked to be able to follow everything Van der Poel and Van Aert threw at him at last year's race before he went into the back of a camera bike and abandoned the race.
Alaphilippe's team-mates, Asgreen and Zdeněk Štybar are both in the top seven for the bookies according to Oddschecker with Danish champion Asgreen at 16/1 after his superb solo win at E3 Saxo Bank Classic. Czech rider, Štybar has slightly longer odds with the former cyclo-cross world champion at 33/1.
Bora-Hansgrohe's star rider, Sagan, is currently down to ride Flanders and will be heading there with a win at the Volta a Catalunya and a top-four at Milan-San Remo, but there are still doubts about his form after recovering from a training crash and Covid-19. The three-time world champion is still at 22/1 to win in Flanders.
Other notable riders are Søren Kragh Andersen (DSM) at 66/1, Deceuninck - Quick-Step duo of Florian Sénéchal and Yves Lampaert at 25/1 and 33/1, British hope Tom Pidcock and former winner Alexander Kristoff both at 49/1, and former world champion Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) at 50/1.
Dylan van Baarle's (Ineos Grenadiers) odds have tumbled thanks to his win at Dwars door Vlaanderen where he soloed to victory from 53km to go. His odds now sit at 40/1.
Amazingly, Milan-San Remo winner Jasper Stuyvan (Trek-Segafredo) is also at 40/1 despite showing he is on superb form. Another rider who's also sat at 40/1 is Greg Van Avermaet (Ag2r-Citroën) who has this race at the top of his list before he retires.
There are some fantastic odds out there on riders who have shown that they are on flying form, Anthony Turgis (Total Direct Energie) has been superb of late but he is still at 80/1 going into 'De Ronde'. Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) is in a similar position with the former European champion at 66/1.
Some fantastic long-shots are 2019 winner Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Nippo) at 150/1, Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix) at 250/1, Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie) at 300/1, Arjen Livyns (Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB) at 400/1, and powerhouse Frenchman Damien Gaudin (Total Direct Energie) at 1000/1.
Tour of Flanders 2021 odds (Winner- Oddschecker)
Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix - 16/5
Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma - 7/2
Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step - 8/1
Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck - Quick-Step - 16/1
Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe - 22/1
Florian Sénéchal (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step - 25/1
Yves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck - Quick-Step - 33/1
Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates - 33/1
Zdeněk Štybar (Cze) Deceuninck - Quick-Step - 33/1
Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers - 40/1
All odds correct at the time of publication
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