Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome will ride the Giro d’Italia next year in an attempt to win his third Grand Tour in a row.
After successfully defending his Tour de France title earlier this year, Froome went on to win the Spanish Vuelta for the first time. A victory at the Giro would make him the seventh rider in history to win all three Grand Tours – and only the third to hold the three titles at the same time.
The 32-year-old Froome made the unexpected announcement on Wednesday during the presentation of next year’s Giro route, with a brief video message.
“I’m looking forward to seeing you at the start line of next year’s Giro d’Italia,” he said.
The announcement was greeted by surprise and a warm round of applause from the audience, which included past and present cyclists.
“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,” Froome said in a statement from Team Sky.
Froome, who has not competed at the Giro since 2010, will also try to win the Tour for a record-equaling fifth time next year.
No rider has completed a Giro-Tour double since Marco Pantani in 1998, but Froome has taken confidence from this season’s successful Tour-Vuelta effort.
Next year’s Giro will start in Jerusalem and the following two stages will also be in Israel, marking the first time the race has started outside Europe.
Race organizers have said the route will not go through any land considered occupied by the international community. That means the course will circumvent the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war and claimed by the Palestinians as parts of a future independent state. (The Associated Press)
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