Tour of Flanders 2018 odds
Who wins Tour of Flanders 2018?
On the 1st April 2018, the 102nd edition of the Tour of Flanders, which is part of the UCI World Tour, will take place. It’s a classic one-day cycling race, famous for its short, sharp and cobbled climbs.
Starting in Antwerp, the route takes in around 250k of Flemish land, with the iconic finale highlighted by a fierce finish on the cobbled climbs up the Kwaremont and Paterberg.
If the race is anything like last year, spectators will be in for a classic. Who can forget Belgian local Philippe Gilbert launching a devastating attack on the second ascent of the Kwaremont and continuing to victory in a powerful solo display? He was joined at the podium by another Belgian, Greg Van Avermaet, coming in second, and Nikki Terpstra finishing in third.
Similar to the famous Paris-Roubaix, one of the most exciting and memorable aspects of the Tour of Flanders is the cobbled climbs. However, while Roubaix is all about the cobbles, the Tour of Flanders is a brutal mix of cobbles and steep climbs.
Today, the Tour of Flanders is one of the five ‘monuments’ of cycling and is one of the most prestigious one-day races on the World Tour.
The 2018 Race
Due to the cobbles and the narrow climbs, the race itself is often very unpredictable as riders jostle to get into a good position. Racing on the cobbles is all about riding aggressively, and that adds to the spectacle.
It’s a very strategic race, with plenty of opportunities for riders to attack the peloton. The steep climbs typically favour aggressive cycling, which, of course, makes it a more attractive race for fans.
Riders should be wary of the main climbs. Namely the Kwaremont, which is a long section of the course, covered in cobbles and with a sharp ascent at the start. This is often when riders decide to make a break from the peloton in a bid to race clear.
Additionally, the Paterberg is another one to watch out for. This climb comes at the end of the race, and the riders are greeted with an atmosphere similar to that found on the infamous climbs of the Tour De France. The Paterberg is relatively short but incredibly steep, and with a lot of kilometres in their legs, it’s a brutal test of strength and stamina as the cyclists approach the finish line.
The big question will be whether a Belgian can retain the title, or whether we be in for a big surprise. Local fans will be cheering on the current champion, Philippe Gilbert, and fellow Belgian, Greg Van Avermaet, while a previous winner Peter Sagan will likely be the favourite going into the race.
A win in the Tour of Flanders is career-defining, but perhaps an indication of the difficulty of the race is the fact that just six cyclists have managed to win the one-day race three times. This makes it a unique race amongst the other major classics.