(Reuters) - Cadel Evans, bidding to revive his career after struggling since winning the 2011 Tour de France, has gone against convention and decided to race in May's Giro d'Italia in an effort to improve for this year's Tour.
The 36-year-old Australian could only finish seventh in last year's Tour and blamed his poor form on a virus.
"The team will put everything into the Tour de France," he said in a statement from his BMC team on Saturday.
"My situation is a bit strange because there are not many riders who perform better with two grand tours than one in their legs. In my situation, with the racing I missed last year, I need and I feel comfortable with this program."
Briton Bradley Wiggins, who won last year's Tour after his Team Sky destroyed Evans' hopes early on, will also ride this year's Giro and the Tour but has made the Italian race his major aim. Chris Froome may take over as team leader in France.
Most pundits feel it is now very difficult for a rider to win the Giro, the world's second most famous stage race, and June and July's Tour in the same year.
Evans hopes to break the mould and instead use the Giro as preparation for the Tour. He told Reuters last week he is committed to being team leader on the Tour and that the media have a "short-term memory" when it comes to his potential.
Writing by Mark Meadows, editing by Pritha Sarkar