10 Pro-Peloton Races to Watch in 2017

Share it:
10 Pro-Peloton Races to Watch in 2017

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist  or just getting started, watching the pros is inspiration in itself, making the 2017 pro cycling race calendar worth your attention. Here’s everything you need to know about the 10 biggest cycling races of the year:

MILANO-SAN REMO
March 18, 2017

The race: The longest of all the spring classics at 298 kilometers, Milan-San Remo is one of Italy’s most grueling events. While the classic climbs up the Poggio and Cipressa can give breakaway artists a chance at overall victory, the finish is usually decided by the sprinters who manage to keep from getting dropped by the peloton.

Favorites to win: Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segagredo), Arnaud Demare (FDJ), Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

How to watch: Online (Subscription required)

TOUR OF FLANDERS
April 2, 2017

The race: Known in Belgium as De Ronde, the Tour of Flanders is one of the hardest single-day events on the pro calendar. This year’s course is 259 kilometers long and features 18 grueling climbs. Expect the race to be decided on the Muur, a legendary climb on cobbled roads featuring gradients nearing 20%.

Favorites to win: Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale), Tom Boonen (Quick-Step)

How to watch: Online (Subscription required)

PARIS ROUBAIX
April 9, 2017

The race: If there’s one spring classic race that stands above the rest, it’s Paris Roubaix. Riders are tasked with 27 sections of grueling cobbled roads in the often treacherous conditions of Northern France. Though the 257km route is mostly flat, it’s a race that separates the best from the rest, ensuring the strongest rider almost always wins.

Favorites to win: Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Sep Vanmarcke (Cannondale), Tom Boonen (Quick-Step), Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step), Geraint Thomas (Sky)

How to watch: NBC Sports

LIEGE-BASTOGNE-LIEGE
April 23, 2017

The race: First held in 1892, this is the oldest of all spring classics. Though the course is straightforward, there are plenty of short, punchy climbs that make a solo breakaway a possibility. Snow and heavy rain are common, adding to the overall unpredictability. If there’s one big race on the calendar where the stars of the sport usually don’t win, this is it.

Favorites to win: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step), Daniel Martin (Quick-Step), Wout Poels (Sky), Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott), Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky)

How to watch: NBC Sports

GIRO D’ITALIA (TOUR OF ITALY)
May 5–28, 2017

The race: The 2017 route, unveiled in October, heads from the toe of Italy up to the Alps before the race concludes. The 100th edition of the Giro features six sprint stages, five summit finishes and two time trials totaling 67.2 kilometers. The iconic Stelvio Pass is also on the menu and most likely a deciding stage for general classification contenders.

Favorites to win: Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Fabio Aru (Astana), Mikel Landa (Sky), Tejay van Garderen (BMC)

How to watch: Online (Subscription required)

READ MORE > 11 CYCLING MOVIES TO WATCH ON YOUR INDOOR TRAINER … OR COUCH

TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
May 14–20, 2017

The race: The biggest pro race on American soil, the Tour of California should feature plenty of star power. Pros not attending the Giro d’Italia will likely attend this one instead, using this race as a tune-up before heading to the Tour de France. The route begins in Sacramento before heading into a crucial time trial at Big Bear Lake and ending in Pasadena.

Favorites to win: Teams attending the race have not yet been announced.

How to watch: NBC Sports

TOUR DE FRANCE
July 1–23, 2017

The race: Beginning in Germany, this year’s Tour visits the Alps twice with the Pyrenees in between. The 3,521 kilometer route consists of five mountain stages and two individual time trial stages. The climb up the Izoard (Stage 18) and the time trial in Marseille (Stage 20) will be key stages in the race for the yellow jersey.

Favorites to win: Chris Froome (Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Richie Porte (BMC), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Romain Bardet (AG2R)

How to watch: NBC Sports

VUELTA A ESPANA (TOUR OF SPAIN)
August 19–September 10, 2017

The race: The 21-stage Vuelta a Espana covers 3,297 kilometers and features five mountain stages, six sprint stages, one individual time trial and one team time trial. Exact departures and finishes have yet to be announced.

Favorites to win: Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Fabio Aru (Astana), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Chris Froome (Sky)

How to watch: NBC Sports

READ MORE > 13 TERMS THAT’LL MAKE YOU SOUND LIKE A LEGIT CYCLIST

UCI ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
September 17, 2017

The race: The 2017 UCI Road World Championship will be held in Bergen, Norway. Expect an open course that could lead to small breakaways emerging from the peloton, and perhaps an unexpected winner. Dethroning reigning two-time champion Peter Sagan (2015 and 2016), however, is no easy task.

Favorites to win: Until someone beats him, it has to be Peter Sagan.

How to watch: NBC Sports

IL LOMBARDIA
October 7, 2017

The race: The final cycling monument of the season, Il Lombardia in Italy has been a pro favorite since 1905. The exact course for 2017 has not yet been released, but will likely feature Lake Como and the Ghisallo climb, which are iconic landmarks.

Favorites to win: Until the course is announced, this will be difficult to tell.

How to watch: Online (Subscription required)

Related