By Josh Perry
One of the sports hit hardest by the COVID-19 chaos was cycling. Numerous events were postponed, some even cancelled, and the riders had a rough time keeping their bodies in perfect shape in such confusing circumstances. Once the season resumed, the calendar was much different. We saw numerous surprises, unexpected results, and unusual scenes, such as the snow at Giro.
Three riders stood above others, all of them winners of the three majors – Tadej Pogacar, Primoz Roglic, and Tao Geoghegan Hart. These three guys are the main favourites for repeating the same successes, and if you check MBet’s cycling betting odds, their names always appear first.
Current No.1 in the world, Primoz Roglic defended his La Vuelta title, title, but tragically lost Tour de France victory, having a meltdown in the penultimate stage and allowing his countryman Tadej Pogacar to win the Tour.
The 31-year old is the top favourite to win the Tour next season, with the current odds sitting at 2/1. Pogacar comes after 3/1, while Remco Evenepoel is the nearest one after the Slovenian duo, 13/2. Geraint Thomas is 13/1, Tom Dumoulin 14/1; Egan Bernal sits sixth with 15/1. Richard Carapaz, another Colombian, the favourite darkhorse 20/1.
Pogacar miraculously won the 2020 Tour, and with 22 years, he is one of the biggest talents of this sport and a guy who could rule this sport in the future. Interestingly, he only once made it to the top three at one major before success in France, at La Vuelta. What makes his victory even more impressive is the fact that Pogacar appeared at Tour for the first time and won the competition.
It is an incredible achievement, with only seven riders since 1945 besides him, who managed to do the same. Among them are Bernard Hinault and Eddy Merckx. As you know, both became legends. Only he and Merckx won three jerseys at one Tour. So enough said about his potential.
The entire cycling community awaits to see what will happen not only at Tour de France but at Giro D’Italia as well. It is the only major where Slovenian’s didn’t win, and the public, especially in this country, eagerly awaits to see what will happen in the next edition of this prominent race.
The last winner Tao Geoghegan Hart is the No.1 candidate to snatch another title. The bookmakers made him a massive favourite, with the odds of him snatching the second trophy 1/6. Jai Hindley, Team DSM’s Aussie, is second way behind, 7/1, and Astana’s Alexander Vlasov sits third 11/1. Pello Bilbao is 20/1, Rafal Majka 25/1, Domenico Pezzovivo, 50/1. The famous Vicenzo Nibali, a two-time winner here, is 300/1.
Neither Geoghegan Hart, Roglic, nor Pogacar, are in the mix for winning the Road World Championship next year. The highest-placed on the list of favourites from these three is Pogacar with 34/1. Roglic is 51/1, and Geoghegan Hart 201/1.
Some other riders lead the way here, such as last year’s runner-up, Wout Van Aert 11/2. The Belgian cyclist is slightly ahead of Mathieu Van Der Poel 6/1. The 2020 winner, Julian Alaphilippe, and the Swiss rising star Marc Hirschi are leveled at 11/1, with Remco Evenepoel following these guys at 12/1.
Hirschi is another young rider whose ceiling is very high. He is the former U23 World Road Champion and No.3 from the last year’s edition of this competition.
The Swiss recently joined the UAE Team Emirates on a three-year deal, after a breakup with Team DSM on January 5th. Hirschi had one more year on his contract, but it seems that something went wrong between the two parties. The contract termination came suddenly without any indications that it could happen. Both Hirschi and the team decided not to comment on the matter.