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Chris Froome aims to hold all three Grand Tour titles at the same time

Chris Froome celebrates victory in La Vuelta a Espana in Madrid. Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Chris Froome will bid to achieve "something special" and claim a third straight Grand Tour title by riding in the 2018 Giro d'Italia, it was confirmed on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Team Sky leader won a fourth Tour de France title in July before adding the Vuelta a Espana.

Now Froome is seeking to be the winner of all three Grand Tours at the same time when the 101st Giro d'Italia event starts from Israel in May.

He said in a statement on teamsky.com: "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."

Nobody has done the Giro-Tour double since Marco Pantani in 1998, and recent high-profile attempts from Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana have fallen flat.

However, the timings of the 2018 schedule mean there is a longer break than normal, partly due to avoiding a clash with the World Cup in Russia.

The 101st edition of the Giro d'Italia will run from May 4 to 27, with the Corsa Rosa set to start outside of Europe for the first time with a 9.7-kilometre time trial around west Jerusalem before two more stages in Israel ahead of moving to Sicily and a first summit finish on Mount Etna.

Froome lived in Italy for three years when he began his professional career and had posted a brief video on the Giro d'Italia Twitter feed to confirm his participation.

The Briton, who has not competed in the Giro d'Italia since 2010, is ready to meet the "unique situation" head on as he attempts to win a third consecutive Grand Tour title.

"It's something the team have considered carefully and we've talked about a lot," Froome added on the Team Sky website.

"We know that it would be a significant feat in the modern era to win both the Giro and the Tour in the same season, but the way we managed things this year gives me confidence that I can successfully target both races.

"Another factor is that there is an extra week between next year's Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France.

"That's one more week for recovery and for training than there would be normally, which I think potentially makes it more manageable and conducive to being able to hit both races in great shape.

"The way we managed that period from the Tour through to the Vuelta this season was a great learning experience for us and hopefully something that will stand me in good stead for 2018."

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford is confident the support will be in place to help drive Froome on to a historic victory.

"Some of cycling's greatest stories have been played out at the Giro d'Italia and next year gives us the chance to write a chapter of our own," he said.

"We'll be taking Chris to the Giro with the aim of winning three consecutive Grand Tours, and then going on to France with the goal of winning the Tour.

"It's something that we have looked at in detail as a team. Some of the very best riders have attempted to win the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same season, but very few have been successful, so it's a challenge we have enormous respect for.

"But it's challenges like this that speak to what we're about as a team -- setting ambitious targets, preparing for them properly and being ready to put it all on the line."