Cadel Evans to open season in Mallorca Challenge

Tour de France champion will meet Schlecks in February

Cadel Evans will start his 2012 season on Mallorca. The XXI Iberostar Mallorca Cycling Challenge has confirmed that the reigning Tour de France champion will participate in the race series February 5 to 9.

BMC Racing Team will send a large squad to the Spanish island. Brent Bookwalter, Marcus Burghardt, Steve Cummings, Yannick Eijssen, Matthias Frank, Amaël Moinard, Steve Morabito, Marco Pinotti, Manuel Quinziato, Mauro Santambrogio, Johann Tschopp, Ivan Sataromita and Tejay Van Garderen will also take part.

Evans is not the only big name to sign up for the race. It was announced last week that Evans' Tour rivals Andy and Fränk Schleck will also be there. The brothers, who will ride for RadioShack-Nissan-Trek in 2012, finished second and third in this year's Tour.

WorldTour teams at the race will include BMC, RadioShack, Katusha, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Lotto-Belisol, and Team Sky. So far two Professional Continental teams have confirmed, Cofidis and NetApp.

The Mallorca Challenge is a series of five one-day races. Each race is ranked separately, and there is only an unofficial overall winner.

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