Giro-Tour double back in fashion for 2018

It seems the Giro-Tour double attempt is back in fashion.

Long dismissed as too difficult in the modern era, droves of riders seem to be taking on the challenge of back-to-back grand tours with relish.

The latest to throw in their lot for 2018 is Thibaut Pinot for the newly rebranded Groupama-FDJ team. L’Equipe reported it Wednesday, and the team quickly confirmed Pinot’s schedule.

It’s nothing new for Pinot, who raced the double last year with mixed results. He won a stage and finished fourth overall at the Giro d’Italia, only to abandon the Tour de France in the third week while sitting in the top-10.

“[Pinot] will try to make a good Giro, and then go to the Tour in good condition,” team manager Marc Madiot told the French sports daily. “The Giro will lay the groundwork for a strong Tour.”

Others poised for the Giro-Tour double in 2018 include defending Giro champion Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and four-time Tour winner Chris Froome (Sky), assuming the latter is cleared to race in his ongoing Salbutamol case.

No rider has won both the Giro and Tour in the same season since the late Marco Pantani did so in 1999.

Last year, Nairo Quintana (Movistar) also tried the double attempt, finishing second to Dumoulin and then 12th in the Tour. This year, the Colombian is putting the Tour at the center of his season goals.

Talk of a possible Giro-Tour double with new Movistar arrival Mikel Landa was scuttled after the Basque all-rounder confirmed he will race the Tour with the Vuelta a España likely in the cards later in the season.

Others are taking on the Giro-Vuelta double, including Fabio Aru (UAE-Emirates) and Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott). Many top riders add the Vuelta to their schedule following an appraisal of how the first half of the season has unfolded.

For Pinot, the team confirmed his tentative 2018 schedule. He will debut at the Tour du Haut-Var, Volta a Catalunya, Tour of the Alps, the Giro, French national championships, and the Tour.