WHAT ARE THE SPRING CLASSICS?
A group of eight one-day races, collectively known as the Spring Classics, kick off the European cycling season in style.
Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski set the wheels in motion with a sprint finish victory at Milan-San Remo, before the pro teams then headed for the cobbles of north-west Europe.
Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet completed a hat-trick of cobbled wins before the end of March, triumphing in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the E3 Harelbeke and the Gent-Wevelgem.
And next up for the riders is the legendary Tour of Flanders and the iconic Paris-Roubaix, before they dust off their climbing legs and head for the trio of hill classics in the Ardennes.
WHO ARE THE BIG NAMES?
Peter Sagan was the bookies' favourite for Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders AND Paris Roubaix prior to the start of the season, but it's Greg Van Avermaet who's emerged as the star of the spring with his trio of high-profile victories.
That form has made Van Avermaet the likeliest challenger to Sagan in Flanders, with even the Belgian himself saying he should be considered the favourite:
I don't think I can say anymore that I'm not the favourite. Things couldn't have gone any better so far; everybody wants to ride the build-up that I've ridden. I'm starting with a bag full of confidence. It's actually fun because the race that suits me best is still to come. Flanders is the one where it's been the easiest for me to get the best results, compared with E3 and Gent-Wevelgem, where I was never in the mix. I'm starting [Flanders] with a lot of confidence but certainly not with the attitude that it can't go wrong. I need to keep doing what I'm doing. The only thing I hope is that I don't have any accidents. That's my only fear.
Sagan remains the favourite for Paris-Roubaix and as for La Fleche: that's Alejandro Valverde's time. The Spaniard was utterly dominant in his recent Tour of Catalunya victory and will be targeting a record fourth straight triumph when he arrives in the Loire Valley.
HOW CAN I WATCH?
Eurosport remains the Home of Cycling for 2017, with more days of live racing to be broadcast on Eurosport and Eurosport Player than ever before. If you want Spring Classics coverage then you're in the right place, while Eurosport also recently confirmed a new and exclusive deal for the opening Grand Tour of the year.
- Eurosport now brings fans the Giro d’Italia and all major Italian cycling events exclusively until 2020.
- 2017 will see more Giro d’Italia coverage than ever before, with four hours live each stage.
- Eurosport is the only place where you can watch all three of the Grand Tours (including the Tour de France) AND all five Monuments.
EUROSPORT SCHEDULE: April
Tour of Flanders
Sunday 2 April 0915-1100 LIVE on Eurosport 1 1230-1600 LIVE on Eurosport 1 Tour of the Basque Country Monday 3 April 1430-1615 LIVE stage one on Eurosport 1 Tuesday 4 April 1430-1615 LIVE stage two on Eurosport 1 Wednesday 5 April 1430-1615 LIVE stage three on Eurosport 1
Thursday 6 April 1430-1615 LIVE stage four on Eurosport 1
Friday 7 April 1430-1615 LIVE stage five on Eurosport 1
Saturday 8 April 1430-1615 LIVE stage six on Eurosport 1
Scheldeprijs Wednesday 5 April 1430-1630 LIVE on Eurosport 2
Sunday 9 April 1000-1600 LIVE on Eurosport 1
World Track Championships Wednesday 12 April 0800-1030 LIVE day one on Eurosport 1 1200-1430 LIVE day one on Eurosport 1 Thursday 13 April 0800-1030 LIVE day two on Eurosport 1 1200-1500 LIVE day two on Eurosport 1 Friday 14 April 0630-1000 LIVE day three on Eurosport 1 1200-1515 LIVE day three on Eurosport 1 Saturday 15 April 0530-1830 LIVE day four on Eurosport 1 1200-1530 LIVE day four on Eurosport 2 Sunday 16 April 0700-1000 LIVE day five on Eurosport 1
La Fleche Brabanconne Wednesday 12 April 1430-1645 LIVE on Eurosport 1 GP de Denain Thursday 13 April 1330-1530 LIVE on Eurosport 2
Amstel Gold Race Sunday 16 April 1300-1600 LIVE on Eurosport 1
Tour of the Alps
Tuesday 18 April 1300-1430 LIVE stage two on Eurosport 2 Wednesday 19 April 1730-1900 Stage three on Eurosport 2 Thursday 20 April 1300-1430 LIVE stage four on Eurosport 2 Friday 21 April 1300-1430 LIVE stage five on Eurosport 2 Tour of Croatia Tuesday 18 April 1430-1600 LIVE stage one on Eurosport 2 Wednesday 19 April 1600-1730 Stage two on Eurosport 2 Thursday 20 April 1430-1600 LIVE stage three on Eurosport 2 Friday 21 April 1430-1600 LIVE stage four on Eurosport 2
Saturday 22 April 1430-1600 LIVE stage five on Eurosport 2 Sunday 23 April 1600-1725 Stage six on Eurosport 2
La Fleche Wallonne Wednesday 19 April 1330-1600 LIVE on Eurosport 2
Liege-Bastogne-Liege Sunday 23 April 1300-1600 LIVE on Eurosport 2 Tour of Romandy Tuesday 25 April 1500-1645 LIVE prologue on Eurosport 2 Wednesday 26 April 1500-1645 LIVE stage one on Eurosport 2
Thursday 27 April 1500-1645 LIVE stage two on Eurosport 2 Friday 28 April 1500-1645 LIVE stage three on Eurosport 2 Saturday 29 April 1500-1645 LIVE stage four on Eurosport 2 Sunday 30 April 1415-1600 Stage five on Eurosport 2
(All times are subject to change, please check the Eurosport TV guide)
GIRO D’ITALIA ODDS
The spring season comes to a spectacular end in Italy but, with Chris Froome sitting it out, Nairo Quintana is the man to beat. Two time trials could level the General Classification playing field.
- Nairo Quintana 5/4
- Vincenzo Nibali 6/1
- Steven Kruijswijk 10/1
- Tom Dumoulin 14/1
- Mikel Landa 14/1
- Bauke Mollema 15/1
- Esteban Chavez 16/1
- Fabio Aru 18/1
- Thibaut Pinot 18/1
- Ilnur Zakarin 20/1
- Adam Yates 22/1
- Geraint Thomas 22/1
- Simon Yates 66/1
(Best odds at the time of writing)
Read the original article on Eurosport: The 2017 Spring Classics: Everything you need to know