Cadel Evans will face some major rivals when he makes his 2013 season debut in cycling's Tour of Oman next month.
The Australian star has entered the February 11-16 tour for the first time as he tinkers with his preparation for July's Tour de France, seeking to regain the form that won him the 2011 title.
Tour of Oman organisers confirmed on Wednesday that Evans would be joined by reigning Tour de France and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins and longtime tour foe Alberto Contador as well as BMC Racing teammate Philippe Gilbert, Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) and Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma Quick Step).
Looking to rebound from a difficult 2012 season, Evans, 35, has already indicated there is unlikely to be much early season rivalry with the likes of Contador in Oman.
"If Alberto and I both start in Oman, I think we will both be riding our own races in accordance with our preparation for the season," Evans said last week.