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Vincenzo Nibali challenges Chris Froome to 100th Giro duel

"If he came, we'd all be happy," says Sicilian who won Italian race for the second time this year...

Giro d’Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali has issued a challenge to Team Sky’s Chris Froome to battle it out in next May’s 100th edition of the race, the route of which was unveiled in Milan yesterday.

> Giro d'Italia 2017 route unveiled - the 100th edition (+ videos)

While Nibali, who won the race for the second time this year, has not yet confirmed that he will defend his title, a two-day visit to his native island of Sicily including a stage finish in his home city of Messina may prove too tempting to turn down.

Froome has only ridden the race twice before, in 2009 with Barloworld when he finished 34th overall and in Team Sky’s debut year, 2010, when he was disqualified for holding onto a police car on the Stage 19 climb of the Mortirolo – he later explained that he had been struggling with a knee injury, and planned to abandon at the feed zone. Nibali himsef was thrown off last year's Vuelta for holding onto a car.

With more time-trialling in next year’s Giro than there is in the Tour de France, which presented its route in Paris last week, the Italian race could prove attractive to Froome.

> Videos: Tour de France 2017 route unveiled

It’s likely, however, that his priority – and that of his team’s sponsor – would be seeking a fifth yellow jersey in five years, and no rider has won the Giro and Tour double since the late Marco Pantani in 1998.

Nibali, whose 2014 Tour de France victory makes him the only rider to date to have broken the Team Sky man’s dominance of the general classification there, said he’d be keen to take on his rival on home soil, however.

"I think for him, even if it's just one time in his life, he should come and try the Giro d'Italia," said the Sicilian, quoted on

"He would realise how much affection there is here, how much love there is for cycling and how important the Giro is. If he came, we'd all be happy."

Froome is no stranger to tackling two Grand Tours in a year, but with his focus on the Tour de France, the other three-week race he rides is the Vuelta, finishing runner-up in the Spanish event three times in the past six years.

When the route of the Giro was leaked on Monday evening, however, he dropped a hint on Twitter that he might be more amenable to riding the Giro next year.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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jollygoodvelo | 7 years ago

Fifth yellow jersey in five years?


I was talking with a friend about whether Froome was 'a great' yet.  We concluded that he won't be until he wins at least one non-tour GT... The Vuelta is never going to include 100km of time trialling, so that leaves the Giro.  With Contador and Quintana obviously targeting the Tour, when's he going to get a better chance?

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