Chris Froome set to race in Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Herald Sun Tour
Last Updated: 01/12/16 7:33am
Chris Froome will start his 2017 season in Australia by competing in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour.
The Team Sky rider has committed to racing in the UCI WorldTour's one-day Cadel Evans race on January 29, before defending his Herald Sun Tour title from February 1-5.
However, the three-time Tour de France winner will not line up in the Tour Down Under, which is longer and starts earlier than the other two races on January 17.
"I love riding in Australia. The weather is great and the crowds always come out in force to support the riders. That makes it all the more enjoyable," said Froome.
"It's always tough racing and a really strong, competitive field - so it's an ideal way for me to kick off my year.
"I took a similar approach last year and felt it was a great way to set up my season."
Froome won this year's Herald Sun Tour ahead of fellow Briton and Team Sky team-mate Peter Kennaugh, who claimed the 2016 Cadel Evans title.
Next year Froome is expected to face stiff competition from Orica-BikeExchange's star Colombian rider Esteban Chaves, who has also confirmed for the Herald Sun Tour.
Chaves had a break-out season this year, coming second in the Giro d'Italia, third at the Vuelta a Espana and first at the Italian 'Monument' race Il Lombardia.
"He [Froome] is obviously happy with how he did last season in winning the Herald Sun Tour and then winning the Tour de France, so maybe we can copy that," Chaves said.
"I have started training early, which is new for me. But the important thing is I'm super motivated, I'm happy to do it and I'll go 100 per cent."