• Cycling

Froome may skip Tour de France for Giro-Vuelta assault

ESPN staff
October 22, 2014
A lack of time trial kilometres at the 2015 Tour de France has prompted Chris Froome to consider his options © Getty Images

Former Tour de France champion Chris Froome could target a Giro-Vuelta double rather than compete in next year's race after organisers unveiled the mountainous 2015 course.

Froome, the 2013 winner, had hoped to see more time trialling over the course of the three-week Tour, but four consecutive mountain stages as the race approaches its conclusion in Paris means the Yellow Jersey is likely to be won and lost in the Alps and Pyrenees.

"There's no two ways about it, next year's Tour is going to be about the mountains," Froome told his official website. "There's very little emphasis on time trialling which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains.

"With six mountaintop finishes it is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race."

Starting in the Dutch city of Utrecht, the race will once again take in the bone-rattling cobbles of northern France in the first week en route to Brittany.

From there the race heads south to the Pyrenees before snaking its way eastward to the Alps and reaching its competitive conclusion in the penultimate stage atop the Alpe d'Huez ahead of the Paris procession.

With so much emphasis on climbing at the expense of time-trialling, Froome will consult with Team Sky about a potential twin assault on the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana instead.

"I see myself as quite a balanced General Classification rider and the Giro, with its inclusion of a long time trial of 60km and tough uphill finishes, will make it a well-balanced race which suits me well," Froome added.

"If I did the Giro I may also be able to get myself back to top shape for the Vuelta and go there with a realistic chance of aiming for the win."

Froome failed to contest the defence of his 2013 triumph after fracturing his wrist in the fourth stage of this year's Tour, which was won by Astana's Vincenzo Nibali.

Of the nine riders to have won two Grand Tours in a single season, only three men have managed the Giro-Vuelta double, most recently Alberto Contador in 2008. No cyclist has won the Giro, Tour and Vuelta in a single season.

"In the past I've only targeted one grand tour each season but it could be a good opportunity for me to focus seriously on two," Froome said.

"It's still early days though and we'll have to sit down and put our heads together as a team to work out what 2015 is going to look like for us."

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