Signs point to a Giro d'Italia - Tour de France double for Froome

It is looking increasingly likely that Chris Froome will race the Giro d'Italia in 2018 before targeting the Tour de France, according to a report from Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

Race director Mauro Vegni revealed to Cyclingnews earlier this month that he hopes to convince Froome to ride what would be a historic Giro d'Italia due to the race starting in Israel.

"He needs to do the treble – he has won the Tour, he has won the Vuelta and now he has to win the Giro to write history by winning all three Grand Tours in a row," Vegni said.

The Telegraaf report states that Froome will ride the Giro before heading to the Tour next year, citing a source within RCS Sport, the organisers of the Giro. 

If Froome won the Giro d'Italia he would become the first rider since Bernard Hinault to win all three Grand Tours in the same 12-month period. However, riding the Giro could make it more difficult for the Briton to win a fifth Tour de France in July, despite there being an extra week between the two Grand Tours in 2018.

The organisers have confirmed that 2017 winner Tom Dumoulin, Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru and former two-time winner Alberto Contador will attend the presentation of the 2018 route in Milan on Wednesday afternoon.

Their presence in Milan could be indicative of their Grand Tour goals for 2018. Aru has already said he will target the Giro d'Italia after his move from Astana to UAE Tam Emirates. Dumoulin will apparently only reveal if he will return to defend his Giro d'Italia crown or opt to target the Tour de France at the Team Sunweb presentation on January 4, while Nibali is awaiting full details of the race route before making a final decision.

The 2018 Giro d'Italia will start with a 10.1km individual time trial in Jerusalem, followed by stage finishes in Tel Aviv and Eilat. Local media reports suggest a time trial will be held between Trento and Rovereto on stage 16 with a possible final time trial to the Vatican further enticement for Froome and Dumoulin. However, they will also face numerous days in the mountains with a finish on Monte Zoncolan, Sappada, Prato Nevoso, Jafferau via the dirt climb of the Colle delle Finestre, and Cervinia.

Vegni recently admitted that much of the route is now known but hinted he hopes to surprise with the quality of the riders in the race.

"The media have been competing against each other to reveal details of the route and so there's not much to reveal. What remains to understand is who is going to ride the Giro and that is perhaps the most important thing," Vegni told Tuttobiciweb.

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