So far in 2014, four of Marcel Kittel's (Giant-Shimano) ten wins have come north of mainland Europe. At the Giro d'Italia in May, the German sprinter won in Belfast and Dublin. He continued his grand tour winning ways in July at the Tour de France with wins in Harrogate and London and wore the yellow jersey on the road to Sheffield.
Kittel is making his debut appearance at the Tour of Britain and the 26-year-old is looking for further success in England.
"It's a special feeling," he told Cyclingnews of what it means to return to the UK. "I said it already to the boys this morning that it's the third time that we are in Northern Ireland or Great Britain in one year which is pretty special, especially after the Tour de France to come back here to a country where I've really had a lot of success.
"It's nice and it's cool to see the reactions of the people so I enjoy it."
Kittel will resume his sprinting rivalry with Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) but is unsure just how he will perform in the latter part of the season having started racing in January this year at the Tour Down Under.
"I just will just see how the legs are, I mean it's September now and in August the focus isn't the sharpest anymore but I think that when there are some sprints, I am still in with a chance so we will see," he said.
Adding that he doesn't feel any pressure to perform, a relaxed Kittel explained that he prefers to take the race stage-by-stage rather than placing any expectations on himself.
"Personally, I am not that guy who puts that much pressure on himself," he said. "I just want to see how it's going in the next few days. Of course the sprints are nice and I have a strong team with me so I have to see how I feel. I certainly cannot force myself to a win if someone else is better but it's a good moment to find out where I stand in the sprints now."
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