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How likely is Chris Froome to attempt the Giro-Tour double in 2018?

Joe Robinson
7 Nov 2017

No climbs at high altitude and substantial time trial kilometres could attract Chris Froome to the Giro d'Italia 2018

Chris Froome could finally attempt the Giro d'Italia in 2018 in a bid to join a select band of riders to have won all three Grand Tours.

Conversation has surrounded the four-time Tour de France winner's participation at next year's Giro and it seems to be becoming increasingly likely this will happen in 2018.

A mixture of leaked route rumours as well as reports of Froome training in Italy with teammate Gianni Moscon have stoked the fire surrounding the Brit's race programme for next season.

The drawing factors for Foome's participation at next year's Giro seem to be mounting and it could be a case of now or never for the Team Sky man.

With a decision expected to be made after confirmation of the Giro d'Italia race route later this month, 2018 could present Froome's best chance of taking the final Grand Tour that alludes him.

The nitty gritty

Various reports in local Italian press have leaked suggestions as to where the race will be heading next year, but official confirmation of the route will not happen until Wednesday 29th November.

Yet, if these various leaked reports are to be believed alongside what has already been confirmed, next year's Giro appears to suit a climber with strong time trialling capabilities, like Froome.

It has been confirmed that the race will start with a 10.1km individual time trial around Jerusalem, Israel with it being heavily suggested that the final week will contain a 40km rolling TT in to Rovereto.

The suggested 50km against the clock would undoubtedly be an attraction to Froome, who has repeatedly used Grand Tour time trials to distance competitors before the high mountains.

With the exception of Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Froome has the capability to put minutes into his race rivals, as he has done in the past, and could therefore spot this as an unmissable opportunity.

Besides these two time trials, it has been confirmed by race organiser Mauro Vegni to Cyclist that the race will shy away from climbs above 2,000m in altitude focusing on the Alps rather than the Dolomites.

Vegni seemed confident on attracting Froome for next year's race with the focus on the Alps potentially being deciding factor.

'In next year's Giro, we will not take the peloton above 2,000m in altitude, so no Dolomites. Next year there will be more concentration on the Alps,' said Vegni.

'This route will suit many riders. Vincenzo Nibali and Froome both have the characteristics to win next year's race.'

With a lack of kilometres in the high and long Dolomiti mountains, and potentially 0 kilometres at high altitude, Froome may see this Giro as easier than previous years, and a perfect opportunity to complete the Grand Tour set.

Football could be a factor

The final factor that could sway the British WorldTour team to put its eggs in the Giro-Tour double basket is the football World Cup.

Thanks to next summer's festival of football in Russia, the Tour de France has been pushed back by one week leaving a 40-day gap between the two races, five days longer than this year.

This extended period will allow those looking at racing both the Giro and Tour an extra week of recovery, opening the window for Froome to attempt the double.

Risk vs reward

A favourable route and extended break may be enticing for Froome but the risks could certainly outweigh the reward.

Riding the Giro could hamper Froome's pursuit of a fifth Tour, and at 32-years-old, opportunities at becoming the fifth rider to take five Tours are running out.

There is no guarantee that Froome will win another Tour de France but by riding the Giro before the Tour, he will certainly be making it a more difficult task.

Another factor that could persuade Froome to avoid the Giro is the rise of Dumoulin.

After winning this year's Giro title, Dumoulin went on to crush Froome at the time trial World Championships in Bergen to take his first ever rainbow jersey.

With an ever-increasing ability to climb and time trialling power that can certainly match if not better Froome in a stage race, Dumoulin is certain to be a favourite for whichever Grand Tour he decides to target in 2018.

Aware of this threat, Froome will be wary of attempting a Giro-Tour double if this means racing a fresh Dumoulin at the Tour.

If Dumoulin decides to skip his defence of the Giro, do not be surprised if Froome and Team Sky follow suit in fear of the Dutchman's capabilities.

Froome's participation at next year's Giro d'Italia remains speculation and any confirmation will not be known until the Giro d'Italia's official route is revealed later this month, at the earliest.

The pink jersey is an ambition for Froome, and becoming the seventh rider to have won all three Grand Tours will have its appeal, yet it is certain this will only happen if it does not impede his quest for a record equally fifth or unprecedented sixth Tour de France.