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Froome to ride in Australia Day race

CHRISTOPHE ENA/AFP/Getty Images

Tour de France champion Chris Froome will lead a strong field in a new Australia Day cycling race to be held on Melbourne's Formula One circuit.

The three-time Tour winner will lead Team Sky in the Towards Zero Race Melbourne event on the Albert Park circuit.

The January 26 men's and women's races will lead into the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Geelong on the weekend of January 28-29.

Organisers also confirmed at Wednesday morning's race announcement that 13 of the 19 men's WorldTour teams will compete at Albert Park and in the Cadel Evans event.

Australian Simon Gerrans and Colombian Esteban Chavez are confirmed already for the Orica-Scott team.

The Albert Park race will be a kermesse, or street circuit event.

The circuit is pancake-flat and will be tailor-made for the sprinters.

The men's race will be 22 laps of the 5.3km circuit, for a 116km total. The women will have 12 laps and their race will be 63.6km.