No pressure on Kittel in Norway
Giant-Shimano have announced its teams for two races that take place this week. With the Vuelta a España fast approaching, the team for the UCI 2.HC Vuelta a Burgos will have the opportunity to fine turn their form before the third and final grand tour of 2014.
At the UCI 2.1 Arctic Race of Norway, Marcel Kittel makes his return to racing after the Tour de France, in which he won four stages, but Giant-Shimano but the team have said there will be no pressure on the 25-year-old to perform. With the race suited to sprinters and puncheurs, the team is hopeful of good results across the four stages.
At the Spanish five-day race, Giant-Shimano will look to a trio of Americans for good results with Lawson Craddock and Chad Haga to be joined by the experienced Tom Peterson.
Also starting will be 21-year-old Daan Olivier after a strong showing at Clásica de San Sebastián and stagiaire Steven Lammertink who debuted for the team at the Prudential RideLondon Classic on Sunday where he took home the sprints classification.
"Burgos will be a good race for those who are riding the Vuelta to fine tune their form," coach Lionel Marie said. "During the race we will focus on supporting Daan on the key stages and work on riding as a team. The race will also give our stagiaire Steven a good idea of what the professional world is like and also at riding as a team at this level."
Joining Kittel on the five-man team is Albert Timmer, who also returns to racing after a short break following the Tour, and stagiaire Fredrik Ludvigsson will make his debut for the WorldTour team.
"For the Arctic race we will focus on stage success and given that some of the riders are restarting after a break from racing we will look at it day-by-day," said coach Aike Visbeek.
"Marcel will start here without any pressure and we will see how his shape is. There are maybe one or two chances here depending on how he is feeling.
"Then it is also Fredrik's first race with the pros - he is still suffering a bit with a problem with his leg so we will keep a close eye on how this develops. He will have a focus on learning how the team works and on gaining experience and hopefully he will be able to have a good race."
Giant-Shimano for Vuelta a Burgos: Lawson Craddock, Thomas Damuseau, Chad Haga, Koen De Kort, Steven Lammertink, Sea Keong Loh, Daan Olivier and Tom Peterson.
Giant-Shimano for Arctic Tour of Norway: Jonas Ahlstrand, Johannes Fröhlinger, Thierry Hupond, Marcel Kittel, Fredrik Ludvigsson and Albert Timmer.
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