Kruijswijk to target Tour de France

23 December 2017 22:14:11 GMTPlus11

Steven Kruijswijk has decided to miss the Giro d'Italia in 2018 so that he can focus all his efforts on the Tour de France.

The 30-year-old Dutchman led the 2016 Giro d'Italia for five days but his victory hopes came to an end when he crashed on stage 19.

The LottoNL-Jumbo rider still managed to finish fourth overall, his best Grand Tour finish. He was set to clinch another top-10 finish in the race this year until he was forced to drop out on the penultimate stage because of stomach problems.

He finished ninth overall in the Vuelta a Espana but is determined to focus all his attention on the Tour de France next year.

He said: "We think that there is an opportunity to ride a good classification [in the Tour de France].

"I have competed in the Giro six or seven times. It is nice to focus on the Tour once again. During that race, there's a lot coming at you, but I'm not new to the peloton. I can deal with it.

"As a team, we will go to the Tour for team successes and for this we have a very nice squad."

Kruijswijk is 80/1 to win the 2018 Tour de France without Chris Froome, while Fabio Aru can be backed at 18/1 and Richie Porte at 13/8.

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