Who is the bookies’s favourite to win Strade Bianche 2021? 

With the likes of Julian Alaphilippe, Tom Pidcock, Mathieu van der Poel and Wout Van Aert lining up, the competition will be tough 

The spring Classics are officially underway after the Opening Weekend in Belgium, but now the peloton heads to Italy to race on the gravel roads of Strade Bianche.

Taking place on Saturday (March 6), the one-day race takes place over the iconic white roads of Tuscany and finishes in the picturesque city of Siena.

Both the men’s and women’s races will feature some of the biggest names in cycling, but who is the bookmakers’ favourite to take victory in the 2021 edition.

Unfortunately the bookies do not give odds on the women’s race, so we don’t know who is their favourite amongst the likes of Lizzie Diegnan (Trek-Segafredo), Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx), or Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar).

In the men’s race, there will be some familiar favourites lining up this weekend, including world champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick-Step), Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), and Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers).

But who is the number one favourite?

The major favourite to take victory in the 2021 Strade Bianche may not be a surprise, as the Oddschecker bookies expect Mathieu van der Poel to secure the victory with odds of 15/4.

Having opened his road season with victory on stage one of the UAE Tour and racing aggressively throughout Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Le Samyn, albeit without a podium placing, Van der Poel is looking strong heading to Italy.

Winner of the 2019 Strade Bianche Julian Alaphilippe is next on the list to secure his first win of 2021, with the bookies putting him at 5/1 to reach Siena first.

Alaphilippe is focussing on the cobbled Classics early this season, after a fantastic run in the Tour of Flanders last year before he crashed out.

The Frenchman made his debut in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last weekend and despite some huge attacks huge was unable to break free of the resulting bunch sprint.

Wout van Aert has not yet raced on the road this season, delaying his transition back into the peloton after an intensive cyclocross season.

While his Jumbo-Visma team are downplaying Van Aert’s chances, the bookies still have him joint-second favourite along with Alaphilippe at 5/1.

The next on the list is British star Tom Pidcock, who is racing his first season at WorldTour level with Ineos Grenadiers.

Despite being fresh to the pro peloton, Pidcock has impressed massively with a huge but fruitless attack in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and a podium finish from a bunch sprint in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

The bookies have the 21-year-old at 12/1 to take the win in his first time racing Strade Bianche.

Other notable favourites for the bookmakers include former podium finisher Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech) at 18/1, and reigning Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) also at 18/1.

>>> Strade Bianche 2021 start list: Line-ups for the Tuscan Classic’s 15th edition 

Israel Start-Up Nation’s Michael Woods is among the second tier of favourites at 22/1, while former winner Michał Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) is also at 22/1.

Strade Bianche 2021 odds (Winner- Oddschecker)

Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix, 15/4

Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, 5/1

Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma, 5/1

Tom Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, 12/1

Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech , 18/1

Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates, 18/1

Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation, 22/1

Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers, 22/1

Not racing - Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe, 25/1

Joâo Almeida (Por) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, 25/1

All odds correct at time of publication