Julian Alaphilippe is the hot favourite at best odds of 13/5 (3.60 in decimal odds) with Unibet to win Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Deceuninck-Quick-Step's rider won Wednesday's Flèche Wallonne for the second year running and was perhaps unlucky not to win the Amstel Gold last weekend after his team misjudged the gap he had over the pursuing rivals. Alaphilipe was also the winner of Strade Bianche and Milano-Sanremo earlier this season and has an obvious favourite's chance.
Second favourite for La Doyenne is Astana's Jakob Fuglsang, who has had his best ever one day Classics season but has yet to get a victory. The 34 year old Dane has 19 career victories but they have all come in multi-stage races. He is on offer at a best price of 6/1 with 10Bet and MoPlay but he looks plenty short enough in the betting given he will probably be outsprinted in most breakaway situations and that he was 28/1 for the Amstel Gold. It looks like the market has caught up with his abilities.
With Peter Sagan out of the 260 metres finale to the Ardennes Classics series and last year's winner Bob Jungels skipping the race to prepare for the Giro d'Italia, the bookies struggle to find anyone else with a really big chance in the race. The next most highly rated riders in the betting are Maximilian Schachmann at 14/1 with Paddy Power and Betfair, Michael Matthews at 16/1 with Betway and four times winner Alejandro Valverde at 16/1 with William Hill. The Spaniard has been in decent form in recent weeks and was surprisingly strong in the Tour of Flanders and it surprising to see him available at quite such big odds, given he won in 2017, 2015, 2008 and 2006. Aged 39, it would be a massive achievement to win here but stranger things have happened in cycling.
Others with good previous form in LBL include Michal Kwiatkowski who is available at 20/1 with William Hill and will lead Team Sky's push and 2013 winner Dan Martin at 33/1 with Bet 365 and William Hill.
Vincenzo Nibali has been nibbled at in the betting but can still be backed at 25/1 with Sportingbet while Adam Yates has also been popular at 22/1 with William Hill.