With the UCI Road World Championships taking place in Doha this season it gives the sprinters in the peloton a rare opportunity to battle for the famous rainbow stripes.
Mark Cavendish was the winner in the men’s race the last time the Worlds was raced on a relatively flat route in Copenhagen back in 2011 and will again be amongst the favourites for success in the Middle East.
The route for both the women’s and men’s races is virtually pan flat, with a criterium-style finishing circuit in downtown Doha set to provide a fast finish. Organisers hope a 150km route through the Qatari desert will provide crosswinds to ensure the race is exciting from beginning to end.
Cavendish is again the favourite with many bookmakers for the men’s road race, having won four stages of the Tour de France and a silver medal at the Olympic Games. You can back the Manxman for glory at 5/1, with this price and lots more available at www.bestbetting-sites.com
Odds for the women’s road race were not available at the time of publishing, but will be added once they go live.
Men’s road race favourites
Mark Cavendish – 5/1
Andre Greipel – 11/2
Marcel Kittel – 15/2
Peter Sagan – 9/1
Alexander Kristoff – 10/1
Nacer Bouhanni – 14/1
Tom Boonen – 18-1
Fernando Gaviria – 25/1
Caleb Ewan – 33/1
Dylan Groenewegen – 50/1
Bryan Coquard – 66/1
Michael Matthews – 66/1
Sam Bennett 150/1
The time trial courses are also completely flat, offering the heavier, more powerful riders the chance for success, with Tom Dumoulin, Rohan Dennis and Tony Martin among the early favourites for the men’s event.
The men’s event takes place on a 40km route from the Lusail Sports Complex to the Pearl Qatar island, while the women compete over 29km on a course entirely based on the manmade island.
Trade teams also have the chance to claim some glory in the team time trial, which has been won by BMC for the past two seasons. The UCI has changed the rules for the team time trial event meaning that it is no longer compulsory for all WorldTour teams to take part after some squads threatened to boycott the event.
Rabo-Liv go into the women’s team time trial as defending champions and have a great chance of defending their title with the likes of Olympic Games time trial bronze medallist Anna van der Breggen on board.
The Dutch team could face stiff competition from Boels-Dolmans, who dominated the recent TTT at the Women’s World Cup event in Vargarda.