Australian professional road racer Cadel Evans is set to take on seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and several former winners in the Giro d'Italia next year, it was announced by the race organisers on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old, runner-up in the past two Tours de France, will also face Italian stars Ivan Basso, Damiano Cunego and Danilo Di Luca in what will see the race in its 100th year since its creation. Current Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre has also stated his intent to race the Giro.
Evans wore the overall leader's pink jersey for a day during the 2002 edition and eventually finished 14th overall.
"He has the solidity and the balance required to do his best," said his team director Roberto Damiani. "He will ride the Giro in the same way (Alberto) Contador did this year, being patient, before laying down his cards in the final week."
The 2009 Giro race route will be unveiled on Saturday in Venice, where the race will start on May 9.