Froome confirms he will race in Vuelta

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Froome won his third successive Tour de France on Sunday

Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome has confirmed he will ride in this year’s Vuelta a Espana in pursuit of a historic double.

Briton Froome, 32, won his latest Tour title on Sunday in Paris.

No rider has won the Tour and Vuelta in the same year since the race moved from April, to August and September in 1995.

“I’ve got the opportunity and I’m certainly going to go for it,” Team Sky’s Froome, who has finished second on three occasions in the Vuelta, said.

“The Vuelta is a race I love – it’s vicious but it’s three weeks that I enjoy. I’ve come second three times now and I’d love to win.

“To win both the Tour and the Vuelta in one year would be absolutely incredible.”

The 2017 Vuelta – the Spanish race that is the third of the three Grand Tours along with the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France – begins on 19 August in the French city of Nimes and finishes three weeks later on 10 September in Madrid.

Froome could face competition in the general classification from many of the same riders who he beat to the yellow jersey in the Tour.

Romain Bardet, Fabio Aru, and Alberto Contador are all expected to be on the start line, as well as Vincenzo Nibali, who missed the Tour de France.

Froome has come close to winning the Vuelta on three occasions in the past – he finished just 13 seconds behind Juan Jose Cobo in 2011 while riding for team-mate Bradley Wiggins, before coming second to Contador in 2014 and Nairo Quintana in 2016.

Victory in this season’s race would make Froome the first Briton to win Spain’s national tour and only the third rider in history to manage the Tour-Vuelta double – but Jacques Anquetil’s victory in 1963 and Bernard Hinault’s in 1978 both came when the race was held in April.

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