Marcel Kittel to ride the Friends Life Tour of Britain

German sprinter will likely encounter rival Mark Cavendish during his race debut.

Marcel Kittel wins stage three of the 2014 Tour de France
(Image credit: Graham Watson)

Marcel Kittel will likely go head-to-head with rival Mark Cavendish at this year's Friends Life Tour of Britain, as organisers confirmed his participation today.

Kittel headlines a sprint-focused Giant-Shimano squad for his debut in the race, although Cavendish - who has won eight stages in the last three editions of the race - is believed to have the likes of Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra and Michal Kwiatkowski to call upon.

The race's curtain raiser in Liverpool on September 7, as well as the finale in London a week later, are where bunch sprints are most likely to happen. Kittel has already enjoyed success in Britain this year, winning in Harrogate and the capital during this year's Tour de France Grand Départ.

"The first goal here will be to target the flat stages for a sprint with Marcel," said DS Marc Reef. "The race presents plenty of different opportunities and it will be quite open for the riders to take their own chances.

"Teun [van Erp, Giant's Scientific Expert] has analysed the finishes on Google maps and using the GPX files from the race, and this helps us in making our plan for each stage.":

Tinkoff-Saxo will be lead in the race by Nicolas Roche. He will have former Tour of Britain stage winner and race leader Nikolai Trusov, Chris Juul-Jensen, Rory Sutherland, Manuele Boaro, and Danish youngster Rasmus Guldhammer for company.

A full startlist is expected to be announced tomorrow (Tuesday), with former winners Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Lars Boom (Belkin) expected to appear on it.

Giant-Shimano Tour of Britain 2014 line-up: Marcel Kittel (Ger), Brian Bulgac (Ned), Tom Stamsnijder (Ned), Tom Veelers (Ned), Albert Timmer (Ned), Bert de Backer (Bel).

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Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.