Chris Froome all set for Race Melbourne – Bike Magazine Australia

Cycling superstar Chris Froome will start his 2017 season racing on the streets of Melbourne on Thursday.

The 31-year-old three-time Tour de France champion heads the field for the Towards Zero Race Melbourne – a criterium event around the Formula One Grand Prix circuit in Albert Park as part of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race festival.

The men’s race, which starts at 12.30pm local time, will see competitors do 22 laps of the 5.3km course – with a shorter 12-lap women’s event also on the schedule at 9.30am.

Froome, who sat out the recent Tour Down Under, will be joined in the heart of Melbourne by Colombian star Esteban Chaves and Aussie sprint sensation Caleb Ewan.

Many will then also take part in the 174km Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race itself around Geelong on Sunday.

Froome has not competed since finishing second in the Vuelta a Espana in September and is keen to blow off the cobwebs and get back into action.

“It’s been a good long break since I was last racing in the Vuelta,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to getting back racing again and where better to do it than in Victoria.”

Team Sky star Froome will stay in Australia to race in the Herald Sun Tour in February, before beginning his European season – which he hopes will include another Tour de France victory – at the Volta a Catalunya in March.