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Chris Froome to race Giro d’Italia in bid for cycling history

France Cycling Tour de France

Britain’s Chris Froome, wearing the overall leader’s yellow jersey, leaves the team bus prior to the start of the nineteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 222.5 kilometers (138.3 miles) with start in Embrun and finish in Salon-de-Provence, France, Friday, July 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

AP

Four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome says he will ride the Giro d’Italia next year in an attempt to hold all three Grand Tour titles at once.

That will come in May, two months before Froome tries to win a record-tying fifth Tour de France.

Froome, 32 and a double Olympic bronze medalist, won the Spanish Vuelta for the first time in September.

Victory at the Giro in May would make him the seventh rider in history to win all three Grand Tours in a career.

The others were Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Felice Gimondi, Bernard Hinault, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali.

Only Merckx (1973) and Hinault (1983) have held all three Grand Tour titles at once, which Froome is trying to duplicate.

In an unexpected announcement, Froome said “it’s a unique situation for me, having won the Tour and Vuelta and now having the opportunity to go to the Giro and attempt to win a third consecutive Grand Tour.”

Froome last raced the Giro in 2010, three years before his first Tour de France title, in his first Grand Tour for Team Sky.

He was disqualified for holding onto a police motorbike on Stage 19 on a day when he was so far behind that he intended to retire from the race anyway, according to reports.

Froome was also 36th in the 2009 Giro.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.