This year’s men’s road race at the UCI Road World Championships is in Ponferrada, Spain, where the riders will face a 18.2 km long circuit and will do 14 laps for a total race distance of 254.8 km. Read here our 2014 World Championship Elite Men's Road Race betting preview, best odds, winner and head to head predictions, free bets and bookie promotions!
CYCLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: MEN'S ROAD RACE PREVIEW
The first climb is relatively easy, and effort where team support can be crucial, the second is much tougher with sections at around 10%. The descent after, could also be vital, as a solo attack over the top of the climb could be successful as there is only short run into the finish after the descent as finished.
But the favourite #1 is the Australian Simon GERRANS. He had come off two fantastic, dominant wins in Canada, the course suits him perfectly and he has an amazingly strong team here too. Being close to 100% of physical form, Gerrans is virtually impossible to drop in this kind of terrain and there is no doubt that he will be there in the finale. Furthermore, he is a very good sprinter.
Fabian CANCELLARA avoided the TT this year in order to focus on this race. The first descent is pretty tricky and while the Swiss may be unable to make a difference compared to the best climbers on the ascents, he could do so on the descents.
John DEGENKOLB is able to get over climbs and has one of the fastest finishes in the sport but hte German was admitted to hospital this week after wounds from a crash in Spain became infected, however, and it remains to be seen if he can recover in time for Sunday week.
Greg VAN AVERMAET has flown down the betting odds in recent days after two wins in his last two races. He nearly succeeded in Flanders this year and he seems to be shedding his eternal second tag. The Belgians come here with a tremendous squad that includes two former winners in Tom BOONEN and Phil GILBERT, plus the likes of Sep Vanmarcke, Johan Vansummeren, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens, who are all capable of pulling something off.
Peter SAGAN’s poor performance in the Vuelta a Espana has made him drop down the list of favourites. Anyway, he is one of the strongest on this kind of climbs and if he had been at 100%, not even the best climbers would be able to drop him.
For Italy, there is no doubting that Vincenzo NIBALI is the leader. He can climb well and he's the best descender of the group. The squadra azzurra's option in a sprint finish looks set to be Filippo POZZATO. Fabio ARU need a very hard race if he wants to win while Sonny COLBRELLI could the surprise as he showed great form in recent races.
Rigoberto URAN will lead the Colombians. He was very unlucky in last year's race as he made the decisive move but then crashed in the descent. This race is a little easier though and it will be harder for the Colombians to excel.
As for Great Britain, Mark Cavendish is injured while Chris FROOME came out of the Vuelta in good form but has never shown a talent for one-day races like this. The captains will be Ben SWIFT, who has enjoyed a breakthrough season this year. Having demonstrated an ability to get over climbs at races like Milan-San Remo this year, the 26-year old looks ideally suited to this kind of parcours, and will be hopeful of a top ten.
A dark horse could be Alexander KRISTOFF. The Norwegian usually excels at the end of very long races and, in the Tour of Flanders, he showed his great climbing skills. Anothere man to watch is the reigning world champion Rui Costa. He has just 5 team-mates with him and hasn't had a great year so far.
Outsiders? Dan MARTIN is a good one day racer and is coming off the back of some solid Vuelta form whilst Tom Jelte SLAGTER leads a versatile Dutch team. KWIATKOWSKI, MEZGEC, GALLOPIN, NAVARDAUSKAS and BAKELANDTS are other possible long shots.
CYCLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: MEN'S ROAD RACE BEST ODDS
- Simon Gerrans 7.00
- Fabian Cancellara 10.00
- Alejandro Valverde 11.00
- Peter Sagan 12.00
- Greg Van Avermaet 18.00
- Alexander Kristoff 21.00
- John Degenkolb 23.00
- Michal Kwiatkowski 26.00
- Philippe Gilbert 26.00
- Rui Costa 34.00
- Michael Matthews 34.00
- Tom Boonen 35.00
- Ramunas Navardauskas 51.00
- Nacer Bouhanni 51.00
- Ben Swift 52.00
- Daniel Martin 61.00
- Vincenzo Nibali 67.00
- Tony Gallopin 67.00
- Tom Dumoulin 67.00
- Sonny Colbrelli 81.00
- Joaquim Rodriguez 81.00
|Winner: Fabian Cancellara||10.00||Bet £10, win £100.00|
|Winner: Alexander Kristoff||21.00||Bet £10, win £210.00|
|Winner: Vincenzo Nibali||67.00||Bet £10, win £670.00|
|Top 3: Vincenzo Nibali||6.50||Bet £10, win £65.00|
|Head to head: Cancellara to beat Valverde||1.95||Bet £10, win £19.50|
|Head to head: Kristoff to beat Degenkolb||1.85||Bet £10, win £18.50|
|Head to head: Van Avermaet to beat Dumoulin||1.67||Bet £10, win £16.70|
|Head to head: Gerrans to beat Gilbert||1.44||Bet £10, win £14.40|
|Head to head: Nibali to beat J.Rodriguez||2.50||Bet £10, win £25.00|
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