The teams set to take to the start line of the 2015 Tour of Oman has been announced, with Nibali, Uran and Rodriguez to feature without defending champion Chris Froome

Chris Froome (Team Sky) will not be back to defend his 2014 Tour of Oman title next year, as he opts to ride the Vuelta a Andalucía instead as part of his Tour de France perparations.

18 teams will take to the start of the Tour of Oman between February 17 and 22 next year, with MTN-Qhubeka, Bora-Argon 18, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Cofidis, and Bardiani-CSF  the Pro Continental teams that will lineup alongside the WorldTour squads.

The overall leadership of the race is often finalised up the Tour’s biggest climb, Green Mountain. Froome won the stage on the 5.7km climb in 2014 and went on to take the GC victory in the early season stage race.

>>>>UCI WorldTour calendar 2015

Vincenzo Nibali, Rigoberto Uran and Joaquim Rodriguez have all been headline names on the announcement of the lineup for 2015 edition, and are likely to feature in the fight for victory on Green Mountain as they all try to find their climbing legs ready for their respective grand Tour challenges.

Froome announced his intention to race the Ruta del Sol (February 18-22), which clashes with the Tour of Oman, as he stated his aim to win his second Tour de France in 2015 despite the lack of time trial miles and contrary to rumours that he might go for the Giro d’Italia.

The full lineup for the 2015 Tour of Oman:

Orica-GreenEdge, Etixx-Quick Step, Movistar Team, BMC Racing Team, Trek Factory Racing, FDJ, Lampre-Merida, Team Sky, Astana, Team Giant-Alpecin, Katusha, Tinkoff-Saxo MTN-Qhubeka, Bora-Argon 18, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Cofidis, Bardiani-CSF, IAM Cycling.