Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) will be back in action and back fighting for victory in the sprints at next week's Eneco Tour in the hope of cementing his claim as currently the fastest and most successful sprinter in the peloton.
The 25-year-old German won four stages at the Tour de France, including the opening stage in Bastia - where he also pulled on the first yellow jersey, and the final stage on the Champs-Élysées, where he put a stop to Mark Cavendish's run of four consecutive victories in Paris.
Kittel has been riding criteriums and enjoying a short holiday but will be back in action in Belgium and the Netherlands at the Eneco Tour between August 12-18. He will be backed by fellow sprinter John Degenkolb, Tom Dumoulin and many of the teammates that helped him win at the Tour de France.
“We have a very strong team, with most of the guys that rode the Tour de France,” said coach Rudi Kemna in a statement from the team.
“We have four-time Tour stage winner Kittel for the flat sprints and Degenkolb for the more difficult finishes.
"Tom Dumoulin will be aiming to finish well overall. This stage race suits him very well with the time trial and the hillier stages. We're looking forward to trying to repeat the success of the Tour de France.”
Kittel won the opening stage of the Eneco Tour last year in Middelburg, as well as the fourth stage Bergen op Zoom. Lars Boom won overall last year and is expected to be back this year as part of the Belkin team. Team Sky has confirmed that Bradley Wiggins will also ride and could be an overall contender due to the mid-race 13.2km time trial.
This year's race starts with a 175.3km road stage from Koksijde to Ardooie in Belgium.