One of the most challenging races will take place on April 14. Cyclists will be striving to finish the “Hell of the North” and, hopefully, there won’t be any major incidents. According to our betting preview, Niki Terpstra is the best bet on the 2019 Paris-Roubaix winner.
Paris-Roubaix is one of the most iconic races in cycling, being one of the “Monuments” of the UCI World Tour. The first edition was in 1896, 7 years before the acclaimed Tour de France. And it hasn’t since lost its statute of one of the hardest races in cycling. Unlike the Alpine and Pyrenean climbs of the Grand Tour, cyclists need to face the harshness of the roads covered in cobblestone. This makes it a very dangerous race, which is why it has been subject to open criticism by many professionals. However, every year cyclists struggle to finish Paris-Roubaix because, as most say, it is the most beautiful race in the world.
The incidents of Paris-Roubaix in recent years
For over 100 years that controversies surround Paris-Roubaix due to its conditions that put cyclists in near-fatal situations. In the first edition, Arthur Linton, a Welsh cyclist, crashed 6 times. And even the winner, Josef Fischer, finished the race covered in mud and blood.
These adversities have been present until today. In 2015, a peloton of cyclists could have been seriously injured after crossing a closed train gate, seconds before a high-speed train passed by. This is a frequent scenario in cycling and a similar situation happened in the 2006 edition. At the time, it caused the penalization of the cyclists.
But one of the main issues in the race are, naturally, the cobblestones. Throughout the years they have provoked many crashes during the race. And, as online sportsbook news sites in the Netherlands report, Mitch Docker’s accident in 2016 was probably the most horrific one. The Australian crashed in high-speed, which resulted in broken teeth and a face full of injuries. The crash happened in the infamous Trouée d’Arenberg, and he slammed his head in the cobbles at 60km/h.
However, the worst eventually happened last year, though not directly related to the pavement. Michael Goolaerts died during the race after crashing as a result of a heart attack. And his death wasn’t an isolated case. Unfortunately, many cyclists have been suffering from cardiac arrests, especially in recent years, due to the physical demands of the sport.
For this reason, and in order to at least minimize possible injuries, the organization has already stated that this year there will be modifications to the circuit. Hopefully, it will be safer and less harsh on cyclists. Furthermore, t
his year will have the Secteur Michael Goolaerts and a monument in memory of the deceased.
Gamblers should consider Niki Terpstra as their bet on the 2019 Paris-Roubaix winner
As we can see, a lot can happen when we least expect in this race. That’s why predicting who will win is always a challenge. But you can still place your bet on this year’s winner.
Peter Sagan is the bookies’ favorite and the Slovak will certainly try to win his second consecutive title. However, our betting predictions point to a different direction, as Niki Terpstra had a great campaign last year.
The Dutch cyclist, who is now running for Direct Energy, won the race in 2014 and, after 3 years away from the podium – two of them he didn’t finish -, Terpstra achieved 3rd place last year. He also won the famous Tour de Flandres in 2018. And this year he seems to be keeping up with the good form, as he already finished 3rd in the Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne race. His odds are 8.00 at Bet365 Sportsbook.
But there are other cyclists that will be fighting for the title. Greg van Avermaet is a well-known specialist in classic races. After becoming the Olympic champion in Rio de Janeiro, he went on to have one of the best years of his career in 2017. He won Paris-Roubaix and dominated the spring classics. Despite a not so successful 2018, he already secured a 2nd and 3rd place this year in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 BinckBank Classic, respectively. In this way, his odds (10.00) are quite high at online sportsbook sites in the Netherlands.
Finally, John Degenkolb shouldn’t be left out of consideration either. The German won the race in 2015 and last year won stage 9 in the Tour de France. Now, he was 2nd in Gent–Wevelgem and will prove that he is still a top-class cyclist. His odds are 11.00 at Bet365 Sportsbook.