LONDON (AFP) — Three-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome will attempt to become the first rider to achieve a Tour and Vuelta a Espana double in the same season, in the modern era, his Sky team said Tuesday.
The 31-year-old Briton, who cruised to the 2016 Tour de France crown in Paris on Sunday, broke a bone in his foot in last year’s Vuelta attempting to pull off the feat.
However, even with his next goals taking him to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics for the road race and the time trial, Sky chief Dave Brailsford said the Vuelta is still on the schedule for Froome, who has twice finished runner-up in the Spanish grand tour.
Two Frenchmen have won the Tour and the Vuelta in the same season: Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault. However, they both achieved the feat in an era when the Spanish tour was held in the spring. Since 1995, the race has been held in its current late-summer spot on the schedule.
In the modern, post-1995 era, three riders have won the Tour and the Vuelta but not in the same season: Vincenzo Nibali, Alberto Contador, and Jan Ullrich.
“That’s the plan at the minute. The season-long plan was Tour, on to the Olympics, and on after that to the Vuelta, and that’s still the outline at the minute,” Brailsford told Sky Sports.
“As we go through the next phase with the Olympics, we will assess it as we go along. All being well, that’s what we will be doing.”
The 2016 Vuelta begins in Ourense, Spain on August 20, 10 days after the Olympic time trial takes place. The race finishes September 11 in Madrid.