19:10 28 March 2013
The first Tour of Flanders took place in 1913 and was won by 25 year-old Paul Deman, who would later be held as a German prisoner of war for smuggling documents via bicycle into the Netherlands.
The race is held in Belgium every spring and is part of the UCI World Tour. The Tour of Flanders will celebrate its 100th year anniversary this year and will follow last year’s new course route.
There will be 208 starters on 26 teams of eight riders each for this year’s event, up from the normal 200 entrants. This includes seven Pro Continental wild card teams and nineteen World Tour teams.
Last year’s event was won by Tom Boonen, who became the fourth rider to win the race three times. Boonen however, is not everyone’s favourite in this year’s race. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) and the two contenders picked to have the best chance to win the race, with Boonen figuring somewhere in the mix.
Odds makers are figuring on an exciting event that could possibly see some really tight competition between this year’s talented fields. Fabian Cancellara carries the best odds at 5/2 at most firms, having won the race two years ago.
Boonen is currently standing at 14/5 odds despite last year’s showing. Sylva Chavanel has seen his odds improve from 25/1 to 16/1 after winning the Three Days of De Panne, making him a good pick for those who really want to wager for hopes on a greater return.
The 2013 Tour of Flanders figures to be an epic race and the field is full of exciting riders who could potentially make this a race to be remembered. The race will start at 10:00 am local time and will be over sometime after 4pm.
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