Chris Froome is aiming to achieve 'something special' next year as he bids to hold all three for cycling's Grand Tour titles at the same time.

Froome won the 2017 editions of the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana and in May 2018 he will be looking to add the pink jersey of the Giro d'Italia winner to his collection.

No rider has won all three of the sport's three-week tours in one season and only six have won each of them throughout their careers - they are Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Felice Gimondi, Bernard Hinault, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali.

If he wins in Italy in 2018 Froome won't have completed a calendar clean sweep, but he will have done something no one else before has achieved.

In a statement he said: "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."

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

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.

Froome in yellow in France

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 said.

"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."