The 2017 edition of Milan-San Remo is at our doorstep (Saturday, March 18). It’s been some time since I first previewed the favorites, and quite a bit has happened since. We’re over a month into the cycling season so we’ve got a pretty good idea of how the main contenders are shaping up.
Here’s the updated list of race favorites.
Odds to win 2017 Milan-San Remo
Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe): 9/2
Peter Sagan continues to be the favorite. The current World Champion claimed his first victory of the season by winning Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and recently won two sprint finishes at the Tirreno-Adriatico. It’s a decent start for Sagan and, despite having a relatively weak team in Bora-Hansgrohe, he seems to be doing just fine.
Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors): 17/3
Sagan was recently out-sprinted by Fernando Gaviria in the final road stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. The 22-year-old edged a win over Sagan in a bunch sprint, reminding us that the Milan-San Remo favorite has his work cut out for him. Gaviria started the season in great form, winning two stages at Vuelta a San Juan.
He was a race favorite at Milan-San Remo last year when he crashed out close to the finish, ending the race for him and a couple of other favorites.
John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo): 14/1
John Degenkolb is off to a slow start after leaving Team Giant-Alpecin for Trek-Segafredo in 2017. He won a stage at the Dubai Tour and finished third overall; other than that, his season has been pretty quiet so far. But it’s in the spring when the German sprinter shines. He won Milan-San Remo in 2015 and he’s one of the favorites for 2017.
Arnaud Demare (FDJ): 14/1
Arnaud Demare won the event last year but it wasn’t without controversy. After winning the race, a few riders claimed that Demare had been towed by a team car for a portion of the race. It’s an allegation Demare has strongly denied but we’ll never know for sure. On top of that, Gaviria’s crash wiped out many of the race favorites, which allowed Demare to contest the sprint against a weakened peloton. So it was an unusual win to say the least.
Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha–Alpecin): 18/1
Kristoff won Milan-San Remo in 2014 as an outside favorite, out-sprinting Fabian Cancellara and Ben Swift. He returned in 2015 and came in second behind Degenkolb. He’s not exactly the favorite this year, but he’s definitely one to watch out for.
Mark Cavendish: 20/1
Nacer Bouhanni: 20/1
Michael Matthews: 25/1
Greg Van Avermaet: 30/1
Photo credit: Martin Criminale (flickr) [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0].