Triple Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins defends his Criterium du Dauphine crown in a warm up for the Tour de France.
Wiggins lines up in Grenoble on Sunday facing the same 22 teams that will contest the famous race on June 30.
Tour winner Cadel Evans, Andy Schleck, Jurgen van den Broeck and Vincenzo Nibali all stand in his way.
He said: "The biggest thing for me last year was never dwelling too much on the successes I had and instead always looking forward to the next target."
The riders face a course similar to the one they will experience on the Tour de France and is being used by teams to gear up for the prestigious race.
Wiggins told teamsky.com: "We've spent months looking towards this year and planning for it - and we've not been resting on any laurels."
Sicilian Nibali, a winner of the Tour of Spain in 2010, admits he is using the Dauphine as a chance to prepare for the summer's main event.
He said: "The Dauphine's the best place to prepare for the Tour de France and my sole aim is to build my form for July."