Chris Froome could ride Vuelta a Espana in August

Sky DS Nicolas Portal says it all depends on how Froome feels after Tour

Chris Froome has not ruled out riding the Vuelta a Espana this August, and could take on the unprecedented challenge of trying to win all three Grand Tours in one calendar year.

The 33-year-old won a debut Giro d'Italia in May and is currently riding the Tour de France, where he is aiming to win a fifth title, but is set to assess how he feels and whether he wants to also target this year's Vuelta when the Tour ends.

Alongside his four Tour de France titles and victory in the Giro this year, Froome won the 2017 Vuelta, meaning he is the current holder of all three Grand Tours.

"This is something we'll talk more about after the Tour, but it is a possibility, of course, yes," Froome's Team Sky directeur sportif Nicolas Portal said of the chances of Froome lining up in Spain.

"Of course, I think it's more about how he's going to feel after finishing the Tour. It doesn't matter what happens in the race. If he wins the Tour, then he's more likely to ride the Vuelta, but the most important thing is to look after his health, and consider what he might be able to do at the Vuelta."

No rider has ever won all three Grand Tours in a single year, and only two riders have ever finished in the top 10 at all three races in a season – Raphaël Geminiani in 1955, and Gastone Nencini in 1957.

Yet Portal believes the feat is possible. Froome enjoyed an extra week's rest between the Giro and the Tour de France's Grand Départ, due to the FIFA World Cup pushing the Tour back a week. The knock-on effect, however, is that there are just 27 days between the end of the Tour and the start of the Vuelta on August 25.

"I believe he can do the three Grand Tours in one year. But, you know, this is all about… He doesn't know how he'll feel," Portal reiterated, before stating the team already knows how to manage and prepare for multiple Grand Tours, having done it with Froome in previous years.

"He's already done the Tour and Vuelta [in a row], so it's something we know how to do," said Portal. "We know how to deal with such a workload through the season, from the Giro to the Vuelta. I think that should be all right. The most important thing is just how he's going to feel."

Portal explained that the chance to challenge themselves with something new – the Grand Tour triple – is what keeps him, and the team, ambitious.

"At the end of the day, we're racers – even if some of us are now sports directors, or whatever," he said. "Sport is all about the challenge. You want to climb the biggest climb."

 

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