• Chris Froome is targetting a rarely accomplished Grand Tour double. (Getty)Source: Getty
Only two riders, Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault, have won the Tour de France and Vuelta a España n the same year, although they achieved it in 1963 and 1978 when the race was held in April.
Cycling Central

28 Jul 2017 - 8:29 AM 

Team Sky's Froome, who won a fourth Tour de France last weekend, will face tough competition as he tries to win the race for the first time having finished second on three occasions, most recently last year when beaten by Movistar's Nairo Quintana.

Romain Bardet (AG2R), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and both Yates (Adam and Simon) brothers for Orica-Scott are also expected to be on the start line for the opening time trial being held in the French city of Nimes on 19 Aug.

All stages of the Vuelta a España will be shown live on SBS and streamed on SBS OnDemand. Check local guides for details.

"I've got the opportunity and I'm certainly going to go for it," Froome said on Team Sky's website.

"The Vuelta is a race I love, it's vicious but it's three weeks that I enjoy. I've come second three times now and I'd love to win. To win both the Tour and the Vuelta in one year would be absolutely incredible."

Team principal Dave Brailsford said Froome has enough time to recover from the Tour to challenge for victory in Spain.

"There's no reason why (he can't win it)," Brailsford said. "We've got four weeks to the start of the Vuelta. We've got a couple of races in between but we'll dust ourselves down a little bit and go and do it all over again!"

On paper, this year's Vuelta looks tougher than the Tour de France with nine summit finishes including, on the penultimate stage, the formidable Alto de l'Angliru, a 12.2km climb averaging 10.2 per cent and going up to 23.5 per cent in places.

The race finishes in Madrid on 10 September.