Tour de France cyclists set out on the race's 2,175-mile route this weekend without last year's champion and an Australian as favorite.

Cadel Evans, runner-up last year, is favored this year after 2007 winner Alberto Contador's Astana team was barred because two of its riders failed doping tests last year.

The three-week race, which starts in Brest in northwest France on Saturday, is trying to recover after another outbreak of scandals at last year's race.