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Three Days of De Panne 2018 odds

Who wins Three Days of De Panne 2018?

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Three Days of De Panne 2018

The Three Days of De Panne Tour is a mid-week one-day race, situated before the Tour of Flanders, in De Panne, West Flanders, Belgium. Taking place on the 21st March 2018, the 42nd edition of the race is ironically now a one-day event, but got its name as it used to be a three-stage race. It’s part of the UCI Europe Tour 2018, and is classified as a 1HC race. The race has been an important fixture of the Belgian spring calendar since the 1970s.

In 2017, the Three Days of De Panne was won by Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert, from team Quick-Step Floors.

The new one-day version of the Three Days of De Panne

Cycling can be a very confusing sport. Not only is the Three Days of De Panne now a one-day race, but the Four Days of Dunkirk is a six-day race. Why? Well, in short, the reason the 2018 version of the De Panne race has been reduced to one day is the lack of demand for a longer version of the Tour.

Originally, a sprint stage was planned between De Panne and Koksijde, however, a lack of interest from the top teams and cyclists saw that scrapped. In fact, the race organisers said: “We would get little benefit from a competition in which the important teams and riders would not be present.” 

This means the Three Days of De Panne 2018 will be a single one-day race, around 200 km long, with the cyclists racing along a route between Bruges and De Panne. As with most of the famous Belgian races, the race will feature the cobbled sections that often prove challenging and unpredictable for the peloton, especially in the event of bad weather.

With the Tour coming before the Tour of Flanders and the Ghent-Wevelgem, it’s seen as the perfect introduction to the Flemish Cycling Week. Current winner Gilbert, in fact, used the Three Days of De Panne as the perfection preparation of a stunning 55 km solo win at the Tour of Flanders last year. Gilbert won the De Panne 2017 race following an attack on the Muur van Geraardsbergen in the opening stage of the Tour.

2018 preview

Gilbert was joined on the podium last year by Matthias Brandle, from team Trek-Segafredo, and Alexander Kristoff, from team Katusha-Alpecin. Kristoff came third overall, but also won the second stage of last year’s race, which ultimately earned him the points classification win. Gilbert claimed the overall general classification and the sprints classification. However, with the 2018 race now being one-day, the race will play into the hands of the one-day specialists and sprinters. 

The Tour peloton typically includes a range of cycling teams including both UCI World teams and UCI Professional Continental teams. And, as with a lot of the Belgian Tour races, Belgian riders tend to dominate. Of the forty-one winners so far, twenty have been Belgian. Expect fan favourites like Philippe Gilbert and Alexander Kristoff to be competing for the winners jersey.