Tour de France winner Chris Froome says he may still decide to ride the Vuelta a España in an attempt to complete a rare double.
With only 27 days separating the end of the Tour de France in Paris and the start of the Vuelta in Puerto Baños it would be no easy task for Froome to target the general classification, but the Brit is refusing to rule it out.
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“I would say it’s a bit early to say 100 per cent but I think that could potentially be on the cards, certainly,” said Froome, who finished runner-up at the Vuelta last year and in 2011,” he said.
“I know it would be a massive challenge to back it up with another grand tour now, especially to go with the aim of going for the general classification again. But yeah, that’s at the back of my mind and maybe that could be on the cards.”
Only two cyclists in history have won both the Tour and the Vuelta in the same season – Jacques Anquetil (1963) and Bernard Hinault (1979) – but none since the Spanish race moved from its the Spring to the Autumn in 1995.
Former Paris-Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt has called for Geraint Thomas to be given the chance to lead the team at the Vuelta after his impressive performances at the Tour.
“There’s more to come from Geraint,” Backstedt told the BBC. “I certainly hope they give him the opportunity with the back-up of a team that’s clearly capable of looking after a rider to have a go at the general classification.
“I would like to see that being in the Tour of Spain this year.”
After Thomas’s hectic start to the season, riding all the cobbled classics and winning E3 Harelbeke, the Welshman may find riding another three-week stage race a step too far this season, but the common consensus is that the Olympic gold medalist is ready to lead a Grand Tour.
Check out Chris Froome’s Tour de France bike