Tour of Flanders 2017 odds
2017 sees the 101st edition of the Ronde van Vlaanderen (or Tour of Flanders in English), one of cycling's legendary Spring Classics. The day before the pros battle it out a sportive is held to allow the public to share the experience of riding the famous cobbles. Those thinking of riding Vlaanderens mooiste ("Flanders' finest") had best be prepared for some serious endurance riding.
There are three different routes for the Tour of Flanders Sportive - 254km (2100 metres of climbing), 134km (1600 metres of climbing) and 75km (930 metres of climbing) - with all of them having plenty of the trademark Belgian cobblestones to tackle. How tough the route is depends largely on the weather - it can be anywhere from close to freezing to 18 degrees in Belgium in early April and bad weather can make the Tour of Flanders pretty tough for even highly experienced riders.
The route for 2017 has now been confirmed. After several years of Bruges as host city, the 2017 Ronde has a new location and will start in Antwerp. The other big news is the return of the Muur van Geraardsbergen for the first time since 2011, as the eighth of the cobbled climbs that will make or break the race for the pros the next day.
The last year winner, Peter Sagan has confirmed his intention to take part and win again the Tour of Flanders. Sagan, who will be joining the team of Bora, which will start to be called Bora-Hansgrohe at the beginning of 2017 after he spent 2 years with Tinkoff and a good start for him with this new team is more than welcomed.
BMC Racing Team is coming to Belgium with the hopes on Greg Van Avermaet’s shoulders. The 31-year-old Belgium will be helped by the new arrival of his team: Martin Elmiger will ride in the red and black colours of BMC Racing from 2017 with the Swiss-American team announcing the signing of the 38-year-old. Elmiger moves across from IAM Cycling after four seasons to bolster the team's classics squad. It will be the second time his Elmiger's career that he will race BMC bikes on a Andy Rihs backed team having started his career with Phonak Hearing Systems. "I'd like to help Van Avermaet win one of the big Classics like Tour of Flanders’’, Martin said.
Sep Vanmarcke is another contender for the win. Vanmarcke joins the American team Cannondale-Drapac to add some serious firepower to its classics line-up. Vanmarcke won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad when with Garmin in 2012, and consistently finishes in the top five of major spring classics, including second in Paris-Roubaix in 2013. In a statement, Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters revealed that ’’ “I believe he can win Roubaix, I believe he can win Flanders. He’s a hard, Flandrian rider who knows how to get the job done.”
John Degenkolb, a cyclist who also changes his team between the 2016 and 2017 seasons (from Giant-Alpecin to Trek-Segafredo) is announcing to have a good run in the Tour of Flanders. The German sprinter and Dutchman Koen de Kort will both make the move across, with Degenkolb keen to put an injury-ravaged final season with Giant-Alpecin firmly in the past. And he called his switch to Trek-Segafredo, where rising star and American champion Greg Daniel will also ride next year, a ‘dream come true’. “This team is one of the few really big teams in races like the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, and this was a big motivation for me to join,” Degenkolb added.
Not to forget when talking about possible winners are Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Zdenek Stybar (Etixx–Quick-Step).