Chris Froome has 'unfinished business' at Vuelta a Espana
By Alice Piper
Last Updated: 27/08/17 2:41pm
Chris Froome says the opportunity to win the Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana double is the reason he is competing in this year's Vuelta and stressed he has “unfinished business” at the race.
The four-time Tour de France champion is looking to be only the third rider after France's Jacques Anquetil in 1963 and Bernard Hinault in 1978 to win both races in the same year.
Froome has previously finished second in the Vuelta on three occasions and, after winning this year's Tour in Paris, is setting himself the challenge of a 2017 Grand Tour double.
"It certainly is a huge, huge motivation for me, given that no one in the modern era has done the Tour-Vuelta double," the Brit said.
"It was back in 1995, I think, the last time it was done, and especially since the Vuelta has moved to being after the Tour [de France] it's never been done before.
"So in a way it's an even bigger challenge for me than just targeting the Tour de France, so my motivation couldn't be higher at this point."
The Vuelta gets underway on August 19 in France's Nimes and finishes almost three weeks later, on September 10, in Madrid and Froome is confident he can turn previous second-place finishes into victory.
"It certainly feels as if I've got unfinished business at the Vuelta a Espana. Having finished second three times now it would just be incredible to win the Vuelta", Froome continued.
"It's a relentless race, the course is always a lot more mountainous than the Tour de France, the conditions are tougher being mid-August in Spain.
Froome, who singled out Romain Bardet and Fabio Aru as two of his main rivals at this year's Vuelta, voiced the difficulty of the task in hand with the race coming so soon after last month's Tour de France triumph, widely regarded as the 32-year-old's toughest Tour win yet.
"It's brutal, absolutely brutal, and to win something like that it feels as if you're taking on an even bigger challenge," he said.
"It's certainly not easy to go straight from the Tour and to shift the mind-set to suddenly getting ready for another Grand Tour, another three-week race, just a few weeks on from the Tour de France."