Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara will join seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong on the start line for the centenary 2009 edition of the Giro d'Italia, race organisers announced Friday.
It promises to be one of the strongest Giro line-ups in recent history with Italian former winners Ivan Basso -- returning from a two-year doping suspension -- Damiano Cunego and Danilo Di Luca as well as Spaniard Carlos Sastre, the current Tour de France champion, amongst the riders.
Only title-holder Alberto Contador, the 2007 Tour de France winner and also reigning Tour of Spain champion, amongst the sport's biggest names will not be present, preferring to concentrate solely on regaining his Tour de France crown.
Cancellara, the Swiss Saxo Bank rider, is a reknown time-trialler and classic specialist who won the Milan-San Remo this year.
The 2009 Giro d'Italia runs from May 9 - 31.