Chris Froome may race Paris-Roubaix for only the second time in his career in preparation for navigating the famous cobbles during the 2018 Tour de France.
Froome has only raced 'The Hell of the North' once in his career – in 2008 – but he did not finish the one-day race.
With stage nine of next year's Tour to include 15 sections of cobbles on the way into Roubaix, the Team Sky rider could change his plans to ensure his quest for a fifth title are not derailed early on.
"I certainly didn't have any plans on racing Paris-Roubaix [in 2018] but I might have to re-evaluate that now," Froome said at the launch of the 2018 route.
Having assessed what lies in store next July, the three-time defending Tour champion anticipates a "massive challenge" to make it four in a row - a feat that would see him equal the record for general classification titles.
"We've got a massive challenge," he added. "It's a Tour de France that really tests every aspect of cycling.
"We've got gravel roads, cobbles, a lot of windy dangerous stages in the first half, then obviously we go into the Alps and the Pyrenees for some brutal mountain stages as well.
"[The first week] is going to make the Tour de France very nervous, especially until we reach the Alps and the first summit finishes, it's going to be a very nervous race. That region, in the north-western part of France is known to be very windy so I'm sure that will play a big part as well.
"I think the queen stage will most probably be Alpe d'Huez, with around 5000 metres of climbing, so I'm going to say that will be the biggest challenge."
Nairo Quintana – who has been Froome's main rival in recent years but failed to challenge in 2017 – is excited by the test ahead, and says it could work in his favour.
"There are lots of nice stages, it’s a route I quite like," said the Colombian. "There are lots of mountains that will suit me, and the time trial isn’t that long.
"The pave [cobbles] stage will be difficult, it's a day where you'll need a good team around you.
"Some of the stages in the north, it's true, they are tough, but I've ridden there a lot, and I have team-mates who have the characteristics for those stages, so I will be well supported there.
"On the cobbled stage we'll have to be particularly careful."
Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish – who saw his 2017 chances in the points classification ended after a coming together with Peter Sagan – believes it will be tough for the sprinters.
"Hardest Tour I've ever seen, especially for the sprinters," said Cavendish, who is four stage wins short of equalling Eddy Merckx's record of 34.
18 de enero 2018
|Sanchez-Mkhitaryan deal close, says Wenger|
|Retiring veteran Benneteau dumps Goffin out|
|Meunier blasts ´disgraceful´ PSG fans after Neymar boos|
|Pique demands better at Camp Nou after Espanyol ´insults´|
|Djokovic outlasts Monfils in Melbourne heat|
|Wizards get in scuffle in blowout loss to Hornets|
|Schweinsteiger re-signs with Chicago Fire for 2018|
|Rockets´ Ariza, Green suspended|
|Sharapova happy with improvement|
|Muguruza stunned as upsets continue at Australian Open|
|Juve trying everything to sign Can, says Marotta|
|He´s scared of me – Ferrell reveals Federer fears|
|Konta crashes out in shock Aus Open defeat to lucky loser|
|Brady limited in practice due to hand injury|
|Sharapova overcomes Sevastova in Melbourne|
|Rooney convinced me to join Everton – Walcott|
|Simeone: Sevilla deserved their win|
|Conte calls for VAR improvements|
|Neymar not angered by PSG whistles - Silva|
|FA Cup Review: Wigan dump Bournemouth out, nine-man Chelsea scrape through|
|Banvit beat Bayreuth to stay top as Gaziantep end losing streak|
|England won´t block Jones from Lions role|
|Valverde rues Barca profligacy in Espanyol defeat|
17 de enero 2018
|Chelsea 1 Norwich City 1 (aet, 5-3 pens): Hazard and Caballero seal Blues progression|
|No generosity from Neymar as Cavani waits to make PSG history|
|Neymar sets Ligue 1 landmark with staggering individual display|
|Espanyol 1 Barcelona 0: Melendo ends unbeaten run|
|Paris Saint-Germain 8 Dijon 0: Neymar hits four as Cavani levels Ibrahimovic record|
|Atletico fan in ´serious condition´ after being stabbed before Sevilla game|
|Stokes ´can´t wait´ for England return after ECB clearance|
|Kawhi Leonard´s rehab shut down as quad problem lingers|
|Folger out of MotoGP season due to illness|
|Stokes should not take my place - Bairstow|
|Atletico Madrid 1 Sevilla 2: Montella´s men stage dramatic first-leg comeback|
|Steelers will not retain offensive coordinator Todd Haley|
|Lukaku will score 30 goals for Man Utd this season, predicts Yorke|
|Brady named writers´ NFL MVP|
|Du Plessis wants action on slow pitches|
|Johnson back to his best after Augusta accident|
|Liverpool loan Grujic to Cardiff|
|Centurion hero Ngidi aiming high|
|Mbappe: More to come from Neymar & Cavani partnership|
|Messi the greatest ever despite no World Cup win, insists Di Maria|
|Uncapped Larmour named in Ireland´s Six Nations squad|
|Villa determined to earn place in Spain´s World Cup squad|
|Walcott swaps Arsenal for Everton|
|Kohli bristles at selection questions|
|England forward Haskell handed four-week suspension|
|You even learn from Guardiola at home - Otamendi lauds Pep impact|
|Three-week ban for Bastareaud for alleged homophobic slur|
|IOC to consider joint Korean ice hockey team|
|Sri Lanka ODI woes drag on with Zimbabwe defeat|
|Batsmen let India down against South Africa - Kohli|
|Five fun facts as LeBron James chases 30K career points|
|Bastareaud named in France squad ahead of disciplinary hearing|
|Otamendi pens Man City deal to 2022|
|Neymar leads tributes to retiring Ronaldinho|
|Ronaldo must focus on playing - Zidane sidesteps exit talk|
|Dimitrov, Tsonga survive gruelling battles as Nadal cruises through|
|Carey ton sends Strikers back top of BBL|
|Zidane still an idol for James despite ´sad´ Madrid exit|
|Stoger will stay at Dortmund if ´everything fits´|
|Nadal backs move for financial parity but silent on boycott talk|
|Stokes available for England selection, set for NZ return|
|Bordeaux´s Malcom facing disciplinary action over social media video|
|Debutant Ngidi hurries SA to series win as India crumble in Centurion|
|Eddie Jones signs new England contract|
|Ronaldinho retires – The greatest Brazilians to play for Barcelona|
|England setting the benchmark in ODIs, says Warner|
|Federer would be unreal at any sport - Shapovalov|