Alberto Contador aiming to win Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2013
Alberto Contador has revealed he is considering a bid for a Giro d'Italia-Tour de France double in 2013.
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 23/01/13 3:02pm
The 30-year-old has won both races before but never in the same season and has set his sights on becoming the first man to achieve that feat since Marco Pantani in 1998.
He previously attempted it in 2011 and although he won the Giro with ease, his Tour campaign was undermined by fatigue and injuries.
The double would actually be a treble, following Contador's victory in last year's Vuelta, and should he manage to add the 2013 Giro and Tour, he would become only the third rider in history to win three Grand Tours in a row after Eddy Merckx in 1972-73 and Bernard Hinault in 1982-83.
Contador has already established himself of one of just five men to win all three Grand Tours and is now eyeing another slice of cycling history.
"It could be the Giro and the Tour," Contador said ahead of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, which starts on Monday.
"That's the most possible option because the Giro isn't as difficult as it has been for the last few years. It's possible to do the Giro and then go the Tour and try and win both."
Although the 100th Tour will be one of its most mountainous routes in recent years, 2013's Giro parcours is easier than usual, with the steepest climbs in Italy being replaced by more than 90km of time trials.
Contador may not be alone in attempting the double, though, with Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins having already hinted that he too could challenge for victory in both.
The Spaniard's preparations start in earnest at the Tour de San Luis and he insists he will be using the race primarily to improve his fitness, rather than going for victory.
"My condition isn't great yet," he said. "I've started my preparation later this year because I have a different programme and goals for the season. I have started my training in a slower fashion this time around.
"There are riders here stronger than I am. I came here a week earlier to train and to get over the jetlag but there are other riders who have better form than me at the moment.
"If there is an opportunity, I will try and take it, but there are riders from Argentina, for whom this is the biggest race of year, who have prepared better than me.
"For me [Vincenzo] Nibali, [Joaquim] Rodriguez and [Jurgen] Van den Broeck will go well and with the time trial in the race, Tejay van Garderen will be very strong."