Etixx-Quick Step unveil the big hitters of their Tour de France team

Belgian team Etixx-Quick Step name six of the nine riders that will make up their Tour de France roster, and they have a rider for all occasions - Katusha name all nine of their Tour riders

(Image credit: Watson)

Etixx-Quick Step have unveiled six of the nine riders that will make up their final nine-man Tour de France team when the race starts on Saturday, July 2.

Even with just six riders named, the squad is already bulging with riders that could win any one of the race's 21 stages.

Marcel Kittel will lead the team into the flatter sprint stages. Having already claimed 10 victories this season, it's evident that the German is back to his best. Etixx will be hoping for a repeat of the 2013 and 2014 seasons when Kittel took four stage wins in each edition of the Tour.

>>> Tour de France 2016: Latest news, reports and info

Irishman Daniel Martin is perhaps the team's strongest option for mountain stages. Martin goes into the race fresh from placing third overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné, won by defending Tour champion Chris Froome (Sky).

Dan Martin finishes ahead of Chris Froome on Stage 6 of the 2016 Criterium du Dauphine

Dan Martin finished ahead of Chris Froome on stage six of the 2016 Criterium du Dauphine
(Image credit: Watson)

Julian Alaphilippe will be a popular choice among French fans, as he has been enjoying a successful season so far having won the Tour of California overall and put in a good performance at the Dauphiné to place sixth overall. It will be the emerging 24-year-old's first Grand Tour outing so his performance over three weeks is unknown.

>>> Tour de France 2016 start list

One rider whose performance can be relied upon is Tony Martin. The German former time trial world champion is always a factor in stages against the clock, and last year won the cobbled stage four to Cambrai to claim the race lead.

Italian Fabio Sabatini and Argentinian Maximiliano Richeze have also been named, and will provide support for Kittel during fast finishes.

Alexander Kristoff wins stage seven of the 2016 Tour of California

Alexander Kristoff wins stage seven of the 2016 Tour of California
(Image credit: Watson)

Katusha name Tour de France team

Russian WorldTour outfit Katusha have named all nine of the riders that will be wearing their distinctive red strip at the 2016 Tour.

Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff, and climbers Joaquim Rodriguez and Ilnur Zakarin will lead the team's assault on stage victories. Kristoff is perhaps one of the few riders capable of challenging world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) for the coveted green jersey of points classification winner.

Russian Zakarin goes into the race after crashing out of the Giro d'Italia while sitting in fifth place overall. It will be his first Tour de France appearance.

Along with Kristoff, Rodriguez and Zakarin, Katusha have named Jacopo Guarnieri (Italy), Marco Haller (Austria), Alberto Losada (Spain), Michael Mørkøv (Denmark), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Belgium) and Angel Vicioso (Spain).

The 2016 Tour de France starts in Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday July 2 and finished three weeks last in Paris, on Sunday, July 24.

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