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by Shane Stokes
December 1, 2017
Giro d’Italia diffuses tension with Israel over contested term; Palestinians protest Giro organiser’s change in terminology about race start in Jerusalem; Israel Cycling Academy founder predicts team will be in Giro d’Italia; Gimondi tips Froome for Giro success; Defending champions Van Vleuten & Arndt to return to Cadel’s Race; Commentary: The hubris of Chris Froome’s Giro d’Italia bid; Malseed amongst Team TIBCO – Silicon Valley Bank lineup for Santos Women’s Tour Down Under; Multiple Spanish champion Sanchis choses motherhood over pro cycling; Video: See Greg LeMond’s acting debut in The Bottle Runner Part 3; Video: Toronto Hustle team’s Hold Fast episode 5.
The preeminent Grand Tour rider of any moment feels invulnerable, unbeatable. Until, quite suddenly, he loses. Chris Froome turns 33 on Stage 15 of the 2018 Giro d’Italia — coincidentally one of the toughest stages of the race. He announced in a video message Wednesday that he will race the Italian tour for the first time since 2010. He wants to win the first Giro-Tour double since Marco Pantani, in 1998.
He won’t. And because of this attempt, it’s possible he’ll never win another Tour.
That would be a shame, really. He’s so close to five — to that rarefied air, occupied only by Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault, and Indurain. (Another rider won seven Tours, but then he didn’t.) It’s the ultimate legacy, and to give it up for a shot at a less-prestigious prize, well, I don’t understand it.
Greed or hubris. It must be one of the two.
There are rumors — reports, even — of a 2 million euro start fee that would land with a soft thud in Froome’s already-full bank account. But would a man who already has millions risk a five-Tour win legacy for two million more? There’s greed. Perhaps Froome wants to win four Grand Tours in a row (Tour, Vuelta, Giro, Tour). Maybe he fancies himself a modern day Pantani, and wants to match Il Pirata’s Giro-Tour double of 1998 — a feat accomplished during what is believed (hoped) to have taken place during a different, darker era.
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