Just two months after winning two of the Tour de France's British stages this July, Marcel Kittel will race back into the UK at the Friends Life Tour of Britain, which begins in Liverpool this Sunday (7 September).
Kittel, who won the Tour de France stages to Harrogate and The Mall, plus the bunch sprints in Lille and Paris, will lead Team Giant Shimano in the eight day Friends Life Tour of Britain, which will be his first appearance in the race.
The German, who has won eight Tour de France stages in the previous two editions of the race, will spearhead a strong Giant Shimano sprint train, which includes Dutch quartet Brian Bulgac, Tom Stamsnijder, Tom Veelers and Albert Timmer, plus Belgian Bert de Backer.
The weekend saw two further rider line-ups for the Friends Life Tour of Britain also confirmed, with Nicolas Roche returning to the race for the first time since 2009 to lead the Tinkoff – Saxo squad
Riding alongside Roche will be Italian time trialist Manuele Boaro, who recently finished third overall in the Tour of Denmark, and former Tour of Britain stage winner and race leader Nikolai Trusov, who won Stage Three to Taunton in 2007 while racing for the former Tinkoff Credit Systems team.
Completing the line-up will be Rory Sutherland, Christopher Juul-Jensen and Danish youngster Rasmus Guldhammer, currently riding for Tinkoff Saxo as a stagiare, or trainee, who formerly rode for world famous HTC Columbia team in 2010.
The second line-up confirmed over the weekend was that of Rapha Condor JLT, the reigning Pearl Izumi Tour Series champions. Leading the men in black will be former SKODA King of the Mountains Kristian House and Cornish sprinter Chris Opie.
Their remaining four riders will be Mike Cuming, Richard Handley, Tom Moses and Hugh Carthy, who won the week long Tour of Korea earlier this Summer.
All three squads will be at the Friends Life Tour of Britain team presentation in Liverpool city centre on Saturday evening. Hosted in Chavasse Park by the Liverpool ONE complex, teams will appear on stage from 1730 onwards, the evening before the city hosts Stage One.
The full 120-rider provisional start list will be published on Tuesday (2 September) morning.
The full list of competing teams in the 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain is as follows:
An Post Chain Reaction; Bardiani CSF; Belkin Pro Cycling; BMC Racing; Garmin Sharp; Giordana Racing Team; Great Britain; IAM Cycing; Madison Genesis; Movistar Team; MTN Qhubeka; NFTO Pro Cycling; Omega Pharma Quick-Step; Rapha Condor JLT; Team Giant Shimano; Team NetApp Endura; Team Novo Nordisk; Team Raleigh; Team Sky; and Tinkoff Saxo.