Team Sky rider looks to improve on his three second places

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Just days after winning his fourth Tour de France, Chris Froome has confirmed that he will compete in the 2017 Vuelta a España as he looks to complete a historic Tour/Vuelta double.

No rider has won the Tour and the Vuelta in the same year since the latter moved to its current August/September slot in 1995, with Froome finishing second on three occasions, including after winning the Tour in 2016.

>>> Vuelta a España route 2017: key climbs and what to expect

“The Vuelta is a race I love racing. It’s a vicious race but it’s three weeks that I enjoy,” Froome said in an interview with Sky Sports.

“I’ve come second three times now and I’d love to win the Vuelta. To win the Tour and the Vuelta in one year would be absolutely incredible. I’ve got that opportunity now and I’m certainly going to go for it.”

Froome will face many of the same riders who he beat to the yellow jersey in July, with Romain Bardet, Fabio Aru, and Alberto Contador all expected to be on the start line, as well as high calibre riders who skipped the Tour such as Vincenzo Nibali.

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The Team Sky rider has come close to winning the Vuelta on three occasions, his nearest miss coming in 2011 when he finished just 13 seconds behind Juan José Cobo after spending much of the race working for team-mate Bradley Wiggins. He also finished second to Alberto Contador in 2014 and Nairo Quintana in 2016.

The Vuelta a España starts in the French city of Nîmes on August 19, finishing three weeks later on September 10 in Madrid.