World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) is the runaway bookmakers’ favourite to dominate the 2017 Spring Classics.
However, Sagan has only won one of those races before – the Tour of Flanders last year, when he placed 12th in Milan-San Remo and 11th in Paris-Roubaix.
Even if Sagan is on absolutely flying form, it’s highly unlikely that he will win all three. Unlikely, but not impossible, this is Sagan we are referring to after all.
So, if Sagan is on an off day, who else could claim a victory in the major spring classics in the eyes of the bookmakers?
Colombian young gun Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) is rated highly for a win in Milan-San Remo by the likes of Bet365, SkyBet and Paddy Power. Gaviria looked good to contest the win in 2016 before being felled by a late crash. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) are also all among the leading contenders.
British hope Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) looks like a good bet for San Remo, with decent odds (33/1) given his second place last year and third in 2014.
Moving onto the Tour of Flanders, Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) is the bookies’ second favourite pick after defending champion Sagan. Then Kristoff and Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale-Drapac).
British fans will again be pleased to see generous odds of up to 66/1 being given for Welshman Luke Rowe (Team Sky), who finished fifth in Flanders last year.
Tom Boonen (Quick-Step Floors) remains a top favourite for Paris-Roubaix in his last outing in the race before retirement. Odds comparison site Oddschecker has the Belgian Classics king as third favourite behind Sagan and Degenkolb.
Third last year, Brit Ian Stannard (Team Sky) is also among the favourites – although defending champion Mathew Hayman (Orica-Scott) is not fancied by the bookies for a repeat performance, and is well down the list of favourites with odds of around 50/1.
Few bookies are currently giving odds on Fleche Wallonne (April 19), but of those that are it is unsurprising to see Spanish defending champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) as the outright favourite.
Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) and Irish team-mate Dan Martin were second and third last year, and are among the favourites after Valverde.
Cycling Weekly will be previewing all of the Spring Classics in detail over the coming weeks, in addition to news, race reports, start lists, TV guides and analysis.