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Chris Froome strongly suggests that he will skip 2015 Tour de France for Giro-Vuelta double

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Team Sky leader Chris Froome finished 13th on the stage and remains in fourth place overall ahead of another big weekend in the mountains. David Ramos - Velo/Getty Images

Team Sky leader Chris Froome finished 13th on the stage and remains in fourth place overall ahead of another big weekend in the mountains. David Ramos - Velo/Getty Images

Getty Images

Team Sky leader Chris Froome finished 13th on the stage and remains in fourth place overall ahead of another big weekend in the mountains. David Ramos - Velo/Getty Images

Chris Froome may opt out of the 2015 Tour de France and target a Giro d'Italia-Vuelta a Espana double instead.

The 29-year-old Kenya-born Briton won the 2013 Tour and crashed out of this year's race, which began in Yorkshire and was won by Vincenzo Nibali.

Rather than chase a second yellow jersey from Utrecht on July 4 to Paris on July 26, 2015 in the 102nd edition of the race, Froome may instead focus on May's Giro and August's Vuelta.

Froome was not in Paris for the presentation of the 3,344-kilometre route, the decisive moments of which will come on the penultimate stage which finishes at Alpe-d'Huez.

Instead he was sailing in Weymouth with the British Sailing squad on a Team Sky training camp and hinted he will not bid for the fabled maillot jaune next summer.

"The team and I will have to give it some careful consideration before we make any commitments to which of the grand tours I will compete in," he said on chris-froome.com.

"Next year's Tour is going to be about the mountains. There's very little emphasis on time-trialling which means the race will be decided up in the high mountains.

"With six mountain-top finishes it is going to be an aggressive and massively demanding race.

"I see myself as quite a balanced GC (general classification) rider and the Giro with it's inclusion of a long TT (time-trial) of 60km and tough uphill finishes will make it a well balanced race which suits me well.

"If I did the Giro I may also be able to get myself back to top shape for the Vuelta and go there with a realistic chance of aiming for the win."

It was anticipated the 2015 Tour would be a vintage edition, with Froome, Nibali, two-time winner Alberto Contador and Giro d'Italia winner Nairo Quintana all chasing the yellow jersey.

The absence of Froome, who has twice finished runner-up in the Vuelta, including behind Contador in 2014, would take the gloss off the race, but he sees other opportunities.

He added: "In the past I've only targeted one grand tour each season but it could be a good opportunity for me to focus seriously on two.

"It's still early days though and we'll have to sit down and put our heads together as a team to work out what 2015 is going to look like for us."

The full route of the 2015 Tour was unveiled in Paris on Wednesday.

After beginning in Holland, the peloton will travel through Belgium, continuing to commemorate World War One in northern France and then travelling to north western France.

There is a long transfer to the Pyrenees and a traverse across the Massif Central, with the decisive moments taking place in the Alps.

The penultimate stage will conclude with the ascent to Alpe d'Huez, with its fabled 21 hairpin bends, before the ceremonial finish in Paris.

The 101st Tour began in Leeds last July, with Froome and Contador among those to crash out during an attritional race which Nibali dominated.

Jean-Christophe Peraud and Thibaut Pinot reached the podium, the first Frenchmen to do so since 1997.

Like in 2014, the Tour features a cobbled fifth stage.

Froome did not reach the cobbles as three crashes in two days saw him sustain a fractured wrist and hand as he abandoned the race as defending champion.

Froome is unfazed at the prospect of cobbles in the 2015 Tour, though he may not actually ride on them.

"I actually quite enjoy the challenge of riding on the cobbles," Froome added.

"It's a difficult and stressful obstacle for us to overcome when it's part of a race like the Tour de France, but we're all in the same boat and there's no reason why I'd be any worse off than any of the other GC contenders."

There are nine flat stages - good news for sprinters like Mark Cavendish - but just one time-trial, the opening 14km in Utrecht.

A 28km team time-trial takes place on stage nine, so far in that a number of the participating squads will have reduced numbers by then as not all their nine starting riders will make it that far due to crashes.

There are a number of challenging stages, but Alpe-d'Huez will likely prove a fitting finale, whether Froome is there or not.

Online Editors