Rivals hail Froome's Giro d'Italia announcement
Chris Froome's announcement that he will race in the 2018 Giro d'Italia has been met with approval by three of the men who could pose the greatest threat to his hopes of a Grand Tour clean sweep.
The Team Sky rider confirmed on Wednesday he will take part in the race for the first time since 2010, setting his sights on holding the all three Grand Tours at the same time, having won this year's Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.
Speaking at the event where the route for the 101st edition of the Giro was revealed, reigning champion Tom Dumoulin and Italian duo Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru - none of whom have revealed their own plans for the event - welcomed Froome's decision.
"Froome is the biggest Grand Tour rider in the world at the moment, so it means a lot for the Giro," said Dumoulin.
"A new race means a new route and a new start."
Here is the route of Giro d'Italia 2018 >>> https://t.co/fuqzHMV6oa | Scopri il percorso del Giro d'Italia 2018 >>> https://t.co/tONSuHbPaK #Giro101 | Descubre el recorrido del Giro d'Italia 2018 >>> https://t.co/mV7vbfRKG4 #Giro101 pic.twitter.com/7LVwqxwv5m-- Giro d'Italia (@giroditalia) November 29, 2017
Two-time champion Nibali spelled out the danger the 32-year-old will pose to the rest of the field.
"He won the last four Tours [four of the last five] and the Vuelta," said Nibali.
"His presence will honour the race. He'll be one of the biggest riders to beat and so means a huge challenge. He's also got one of the strongest teams."
Aru, who came second in the 2015 Giro, added: "Chris is a great rider and will make the Giro even more special. But there are always a lot of champs at the Giro, and so he won't be alone."