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Following Chris Froome’s historic Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana double, 1987 Triple Crown champion Stephen Roche has said a Grand Tour Triple Crown is “humanly impossible”.
Froome became only the third man in history to win the Tour and Vuelta in one season – following in the footsteps of Jaques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault. Roche won the Triple Crown with wins in the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and World Championship, with Eddie Merckx the only other man to achieve the holy grail of cycling.
However, speaking to BBC Sport, Roche said that the Grand Tour Triple Crown is something the world will never see.
"I think it’s actually humanly impossible, especially in today’s day and age because the Tour de France now is so important, the top guys all hit form for the Tour de France," said Roche.
"To go out and win the Giro is very hard because of the (weather) conditions back in May, going to the Tour de France on the back of winning the Giro is always very complicated and I’m sure after winning a Giro and the Tour and going on to the Vuelta I think it’s humanly impossible (to win all three)."
Roche also stated that he feels achieving the Tour de France/Vuelta a Espana double is easier than claiming the Tour de France/Giro d’Italia double.
"I did the Giro before going to the Tour which is, in one sense, a little easier because, especially in today’s cycling world, the Vuelta comes the last of the three tours and generally what happens now is everyone prepares 110 per cent for the Tour and they dig really deep to win the Tour de France,” said Roche.
"Many riders who rode the Tour de France and the Vuelta this year under-performed this year (at the Vuelta).
"Chris was very well prepared for the Tour and the Vuelta this year. It’s a very difficult feat, that’s why he’s only the third guy in the history of cycling to have done the double of Tour de France and Vuelta.
"You always need luck but nevertheless when you have 195 guys out there who want to beat you, you always need a lot of stamina and a lot of hard work, dedication and a good team and excellent form."
Image: Getty/Denis Doyle
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