UCI Road World Championships Men’s Elite Race Odds and Preview – Cycling Betting September 29

Belgian team tactics could prove decisive in Harrogate finale

Two races in this year’s UCI Road World Championships will pass by the end of my road this Friday.
I’ve seen various stages of the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia and any major cycling event close-up is a spectacle, if a fleeting one. Unfortunately, the weather in Yorkshire hasn’t been particularly kind this week. Torrential downpours and floods have led to riders calling for some races to be postponed. There have been numerous crashes with bike wheels locking up in deep standing water. Yorkshire has fast become a favourite venue for big races but the spectacular and varied landscapes which define England’s biggest county has been hard to appreciate when hidden behind dark skies and rain clouds.
The Elite Men’s Road Race is the final event in the championships and, fittingly, has attracted some of the world’s best road racers. With the course set to be much tougher in reality than it looks on paper, the destiny of the medals looks wide-open.
Starting in Leeds, riders will wind their way into the Yorkshire Dales before a trio of significant climbs come one after another. This is probably the point at which the pack will disintegrate as the pace is pushed at the head of the peloton. The race won’t be over, however, the speed merchants will come to the fore on fast approach to Harrogate. Seven laps of a tough and technical town circuit will ensure only the strongest are in with a chance of claiming the iconic rainbow jersey at the end of 284.5km.

UCI World Championships Men’s Elite Road Race Recent Winners

Championships Gold Silver Bronze
2010 Geelong Thor Hushovd (NOR) Matti Breschel (DEN) Allan Davis (AUS)
2011 Copenhagen Mark Cavendish (GBR) Matthew Goss (AUS) André Greipel (GER)
2012 Valkenburg Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
2013 Florence Rui Costa (POR) Joaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
2014 Ponferrada Michał Kwiatkowski (POL) Simon Gerrans (AUS) Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
2015 Richmond Peter Sagan (SVK) Michael Matthews (AUS) Ramūnas Navardauskas (LTU)
2016 Doha Peter Sagan (SVK) Mark Cavendish (GBR) Tom Boonen (BEL)
2017 Bergen Peter Sagan (SVK) Alexander Kristoff (NOR) Michael Matthews (AUS)
2018 Innsbruck Alejandro Valverde (ESP) Romain Bardet (FRA) Michael Woods (CAN)

PETER SAGAN had to hand his rainbow jersey over to Spain’s Alejandro Valverde in Innsbruck last year after three victories in a row between 2015 and 2017. But the quicker course in the Yorkshire Dales should be right up the street of the 29-year-old Slovakian. He comes into the championships as a bit of an underdog after a less impressive year than normal but did win stages in the Tour de France and Tour Down Under and a second in the Grand Prix de Quebec suggests he’s coming to the boil at just the right time. Betway are taking a risk by offering 5/1.

JULIAN ALAPHILIPPE has been drifting in the market and is now a best 8/1. The Frenchman held the yellow jersey well into the final week of the Tour de France but couldn’t hold on. His turn may well still come but he went into last year’s Elite Men’s Race in Innsbruck as a strong favourite and only finished eighth. He’s the cornerstone of the French team this year with Thibaut Pinot and last year’s silver medallist Romain Bardet not in action but with that comes expectation.

MATHIEU VAN DER POEL is the general 5/2 favourite as he bids to become the first Dutchman since Joop Zoetemelk in 1985 to win the Men’s Elite Road Race. At this stage of his career in road racing, van der Poel is better suited by one-day races than tour events. Winner of the Cyclo-Cross World Championship in Denmark in February, the 24-year-old Belgian-born rider has a blistering finishing kick and will be hard to keep off the podium if he enters the final few laps on the heels of the leaders. The winner of the Tour of Britain this year, he’s back on familiar territory.

PHILLIPE GILBERT won the race in 2012 and looked as good as ever in the Paris-Roubaix in April. He’s now 37 but won two stages at this year’s Vuelta a España so is no back number. Gilbert can be backed at a general 12/1 but team-mate GREG VAN AVERMAET is just as interesting.

Van Avermaet’s career victories include Paris-Roubaix, Gent-Wevelgem and the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. He boasts stage wins in the Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana, Tirreno-Adriatico, Paris-Tours and the Tour de Yorkshire and is the reigning Olympic Road Race champion. With the Belgian team, which also includes the prodigious Remco Evenepoel, more likely to ride as a team than most of the others, Van Avermaet could be a force to be reckoned with.

Greg Van Avermaet to win Elite Men’s Road Race


ALEJANDRO VALVERDE is bidding to retain the rainbow jersey after his victory last year in Austria. Second recently in the Vuelta a Espana overall, the Spaniard will be the oldest competitor on the start line but that was also the case 12 months ago. A real grinder who has also finished second three times in this race, he will need his team-mates to turn the race into a slog but that could be the case if the rains return, though the 39-year-old can be backed at 40/1.

UCI World Championships Men’s Elite Road Race Current Best Odds

Mathieu Van der Poel 5/2
Peter Sagan 5/1
Julian Alaphilippe 8/1
Philippe Gilbert 12/1
Remco Evenepoel 22/1
Matteo Trentin, Greg Van Avermaet and Michael Matthews 25/1
Sam Bennett 28/1
Alexey Lutsenko and Michael Valgren Andersen 30/1
Alejandro Valverde 40/1
Tim Wellens, Kasper Asgreen and Jakob Fuglsang 50/1
Sonny Colbrelli, Matej Mohoric and Benoit Cosnefroy 66/1
Pascal Ackermann 70/1
Alexander Kristoff and Ben Swift 80/1
Oliver Naesen 100/1
(Odds correct at 3.15pm September 26)