The four-time Tour de France winner will take to the five-day race won by Geraint Thomas last year

Chris Froome will make his final Giro d’Italia build-up at the Tour of Alps in April, the race organiser has confirmed.

Froome continues to race under the cloud of his ongoing salbutamol case, but will appear at the five-day stage race which was won overall by his Team Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas last year.

>>> Five stages, 13,000m of climbing: The 2018 Tour of the Alps route looks absolutely savage

The Tour of the Alps, formally known as the Giro del Trentino, will provide a difficult climbing test before the Giro’s big start in Israel on Friday May 4, with five quite short but big climbing stages in the mountains between April 16 and April 20.

Froome’s normal build-up at this point of the season would be aimed towards the Tour de France, with an appearance in the Ardennes and the Tour de Romandie usually on the cards.

However the 32-year-old has changed his racing schedule with an eye on an ambitious Grand Tour double of the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, beginning his season at the Ruta del Sol in Spain before riding the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in Italy earlier this month.

He failed to make a huge mark through his performances in either race, particularly at Tirreno where he was dropped on the biggest mountain stage of the race. Froome’s Sky team-mate Michal Kwiatkowski won the overall, while Geraint Thomas took third place.

Despite the underwhelming performance, Thomas expects Froome to improve through the Tour of the Alps and over the opening week of the Giro.



“Froomey will just get better all the time now,” Thomas told Cycling Weekly at Tirreno-Adriatico.

“He’s such a class rider that another camp in Tenerife, plus another race in the Tour of the Alps he’ll be on good form again. If he rides into form throughout the Giro d’Italia, I guess is good for him looking ahead to the Tour de France. There’s no stress on his side.”

Froome has continued to come under scrutiny for continuing to race while remaining under investigation for an adverse analytical finding for salbutamol at the Vuelta a España last year. Both Froome and Team Sky deny any wrongdoing.

A number of high profile figures in the sport, including defending Giro champion Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), have called for Froome to sit out of competition until the case is resolved. UCI president David Lappartient said earlier this week that he does not expect the case to be resolved before the start of the Giro.

The 2018 Tour of the Alps takes place between April 16 and April 20 with Giro hopefuls like Fabio Aru and Thibaut Pinot likely to take part alongside Froome.