Milan - Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome confirmed on Wednesday
he will race in next year's Giro d'Italia as he bids to complete the
treble of Grand Tour wins.
The 32-year-old said that it was "a big
motivation" to go for a third consecutive Grand Tour trophy after the
Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.
The Briton has competed in the
Giro just twice and not since his disqualification from the 2010
edition for holding onto a motorbike.
"It's a unique situation for
me, having won the Tour and Vuelta and now having the opportunity to go
to the Giro and attempt to win a third consecutive Grand Tour," said
Froome, who is attempting to become just the seventh man to win all
three Grand Tours.
He would be only the third cyclist in history
to hold all three titles at the same time, a feat only previously
achieved by Eddy Merckx in 1973 and Bernard Hinault in 1983.
(hello) everyone, I'm looking forward to seeing you all on the start
line of the 2018 Giro d'Italia," Froome said in a short video message
played during the 2018 route presentation ceremony in Milan.
Briton claimed his maiden Vuelta a Espana title in September to become
just the third rider, after Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil (1963) and
Hinault (1978), to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same year.
will also try to become the first rider since the late Marco Pantani in
1998 to achieve a Giro and Tour double in the same season.
really exciting to be able to take on a new challenge, to do something
that perhaps people wouldn't expect and to mix it up," he said.
"It's a whole new motivation for me to see if I can pull off something special next year.
feel as if my cycling career started in Italy in some ways. I lived
there for three years when I began my career as a professional, so
having the opportunity to go back to the Giro in the position I am now
in, and with the opportunity I have, feels in some ways like completing a
Froome said both he and Team Sky had taken confidence from this season's successful Tour and Vuelta double.
"It's something the team have considered carefully and we've talked about a lot," he added.
know that it would be a significant feat in the modern era to win both
the Giro and the Tour in the same season, but the way we managed things
this year gives me confidence that I can successfully target both races.
way we managed that period from the Tour through to the Vuelta this
season was a great learning experience for us and hopefully something
that will stand me in good stead for 2018."
The 101st edition of
the Italian race begins on May 4 with three stages in Israel, the first
an individual time trial in Jerusalem, and will finish in Rome on May
Froome will be up against home favourites Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali along with defending champion Tom Dumoulin.
"Froome is a strong rider and his presence makes the race harder and more interesting," said Dutch rider Dumoulin.
Giro winner Nibali added: "His presence will honour the race. He'll be
one of the biggest riders to beat and so mean a huge challenge. He's
also got one of the strongest teams."
The 2018 Giro d'Italia begins in Jerusalem on Friday, May 4 and will cover 3,546.2km before finishing in Rome on Sunday, May 27. Here are the 21 stages:
Stage 1: May 4, Jerusalem West (ISR) - Jerusalem West (ISR) 9.7km Individual time trial
Stage 2: May 5, Haifa (ISR) - Tel Aviv (ISR) 167km
Stage 3: May 6, Be'er Sheva (ISR) - Eilat (ISR) 229km
Rest day: May 7
Stage 4: May 8, Catania - Caltagirone 191km
Stage 5: May 9, Agrigento - Santa Ninfa (Valle del Belice) 152km
Stage 6: May 10, Caltanissetta - Etna 163km
Stage 7: May 11, Pizzo - Praia A Mare 159km
Stage 8: May 12, Praia A Mare - Montevergine Di Mercogliano 208km
Stage 9: May 13, Pesco Sannita - Gran Sasso d'Italia 224km
Second rest day: May 14
Stage 10: May 15, Penne - Gualdo Tadino 239 km
Stage 11: May 16, Assisi - Osimo 156km
Stage 12: May 17, Osimo - Imola 213km
Stage 13: May 18, Ferrara - Nervesa Della Battaglia 180km
Stage 14: May 19, San Vito Al Tagliamento - Monte Zoncolan 181km
Stage 15: May 20, Tolmezzo - Sappada 176km
Third rest day: May 21
Stage 16: May 22, Trento - Rovereto 34.5km
Stage 17: May 23, Franciacorta Stage (Riva del Garda - Iseo) 155km
Stage 18: May 24, Abbiategrasso - Prato Nevoso 196km
Stage 19: May 25, Venaria Reale - Bardonecchia 181km
Stage 20: May 26, Susa - Cervinia 214km
Stage 21: May 27, Rome - Rome, 118km