2018 Road World Championships odds
Who wins Men's road race?
UCI Road World Championships 2018
The UCI Road World Championships 2018 begin on the 22nd September and end on the 30th September, taking place in Innsbruck-Tirol (Austria). Over the eight days of competition, the world’s best road bike riders will compete in an individual time trial (ITT) and team time trial (TTT) before the prestigious World Championship road race on Sunday 30th September.
The road race will see the peloton cover 265 km, with a hefty 5000 metres of climbing and a final climb ramping up to 25% gradient. It is set to be one of the toughest World Championship courses in recent years.
Last year, the race was won by Peter Sagan, taking the Slovakian riders tally to three consecutive titles. Sagan won the race in a bunch sprint, beating Alexander Kristoff (Norway) over the line.
The 2018 route
The race starts in the town of Kufstein, and begins with seven ‘Olympic Circuits’ of 24 km in Innsbruck, before heading north towards the Hungerburg settlement. The circuit includes a 7.9 km climb at 5.7%, and the Gnadenwald at 57 km - a 2.6 km climb at 10.5%. From the top it’s 8 km to the finish line in Innsbruck.
The final 2 km of the race are played out on the flat so if there is a group it will likely come down to a sprint finish.
Recent winners, teams and favourites
The Road World Championships is the only race in which riders represent their country and not their professional team. The World Championships is always at the end of the season and the winning rider wears the rainbow jersey for the year following.
Sagan has won the last three years, with Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland) winning in 2014. It will be a versatile rider who is going to win the 2018 road race in Innsbruck. This year, those who can cope with the long climbs and also the flat finish will do well. It could well come down to a sprint of a select group of breakaway riders, so speed and endurance are both key.
Julian Alaphilippe (France), fresh from his Tour de France triumphs, will be a hot favourite, alongside Kwiatkowski, Vincenzo Nibali (Italy), and Primoz Roglic (Slovenia). France have a strong climbing team including Alaphilippe, Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot. Alaphilippe won on the polka-dot jersey for best climber at the Tour de France this year and is also a hilly one-day specialist, winning La Flèche Wallonne and the Clásica San Sebastián this year.
If the main climbers don’t get a good advantage to eliminate the fast men, the likes of Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet (Belgium) and Michael Matthews (Australia) will fancy their chances on the flat finish. Sagan, in particular, can never be written off and if he can last on the climbs then he could ride himself into the rainbow jersey once more.
Other challenges include Adam Yates (GBR), Geraint Thomas (GBR), Alejandro Valverde (Spain), Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) and Daniel Martin (Ireland).