Less than 24 hours after crossing the line in Madrid to win the 2017 Vuelta a España and Chris Froome is already turning his attention to winning a fifth Tour de France title in 2018 – although a shot at the Giro d’Italia isn’t out of the question.
Having become the first man to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same year since the Spanish Grand Tour was moved to its current spot in the calendar in 1995, Froome says that his main priority for next season will be a fifth Tour title that would move him level with Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain, Bernard Hinault, and Jacques Anquetil.
However with routes of all of the 2018 Grand Tours still to be announced – the Giro d’Italia organisers will become the first to announce their route on September 18 – Froome says that he will have to wait and see before planning his 2018 season in its entirety.
“A fifth Tour de France title will take my aim but it’s early days and I’ll wait to see what the Giro, Tour and Vuelta courses look like next year and sit down with my team to draw up the goals,” Froome told the BBC after his Vuelta triumph.
“I’m sure the time will come when I will target the Giro. It’s a big task to try to go for the Giro and it could compromise the Tour but I wouldn’t write it off.
“Obviously it’s very early to say, and of course the Giro has come up in question a few times. I’m not going to say no, I’m going to have an open mind about next season, and over the winter I’ll come up with a plan for next year, but one year I’m going to have to target the Giro d’Italia.”
If Froome were to head to the Giro d’Italia in May before going for a fifth Tour de France title in July, he would be aiming to complete a Grand Tour double which no rider has completed since Marco Pantani in 1998, and which Nairo Quintana fell short of in 2017, finishing second in the Giro and a distant 12th in the Tour.
Froome hasn’t ridden the Giro d’Italia since he became the general classification threat in Grand Tours, being disqualified from the 2010 race for holding on to a motorbike on stage 19.
Having now won the Vuelta a España, a victory in the Giro d’Italia would bring him alongside six other riders to have won all three Grand Tours.