Fabio Aru, 25, won the Vuelta a Espana last year and will have the backing of teammate Vincenzo Nibali on the roads of France.
Chris Froome wants to win his third yellow jersey in four years next month, so he's sitting out his country's national championships.
Richie Porte wants to be BMC Racing's top GC man at the Tour de France, and he's using the Critérium du Dauphiné to show off his skills.
Alberto Contador's prologue win at the Critérium du Dauphiné shows he's on track for another run at the yellow jersey next month.
Elite paramilitary police will also line the route for the first time as the grand tour takes place under the cloud of terrorism.
Nairo Quintana will skip the customary Tour tune-ups, Tour de Suisse and the Critérium du Dauphiné, to train in Colombia for the Grande
If recent history is any indicator, Nairo Quintana's Tour de Romandie victory bodes well for his chances of winning in France this summer.
A security expert says the Tour de France is almost impossible to secure, raising concerns after the Paris terrorist attacks.
The 61-year-old "Badger" will step down from his public relations duties after this summer's Tour de France.
ASO says shared hotel rooms no longer mandatory at the Tour de France