In the end signing up for next year’s Giro D’Italia was never in doubt – Chris Froome just couldn’t resist taking on another bid for history.
Becoming the third man in history and first since 1978 to win the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana in the same year has proved not enough for the Brit, with a historic treble now in his sights.
Only six riders have won all three Grand Tour titles, with just half of that number having held them at the same time.
Froome will take to the Italian roads in the same year that he will also bid for a fifth Le Tour title, leaving him with the opportunity to further establish himself among cycling’s all-time greats.
“It’s a unique situation for me, having won the Tour and Vuelta and now having the opportunity to go to the Giro and attempt to win a third consecutive Grand Tour,” Froome said in a statement released by Team Sky.
“It’s really exciting to be able to take on a new challenge, to do something that perhaps people wouldn’t expect and to mix it up.
“It’s a whole new motivation for me to see if I can pull off something special next year.
“I feel as if my cycling career started in Italy in some ways. I lived there for three years when I began my career as a professional, so having the opportunity to go back to the Giro in the position I am now in, and with the opportunity I have, feels in some ways like completing a circle.”
The 32-year-old has made little secret of his desires to focus on Le Tour, with a record-equalling fifth crown within striking distance in 2018.
But with the Giro-Tour double a task not completed since 1998, this is a mission far easier said than done even with someone of Froome’s unequivocal talents.
But the double Olympic medallist is up there with the best of them, a master of his class – and who’s to say a pink jersey won’t be added to his red and yellow collection?