Saturday's Brussels Cycling Classic will be Kittel's second race after the Tour de France as he builds for October's sprint friendly world championships in Doha. The German has ridden on just one previous occasion, recording a DNF in 2015 but will be aiming for a better result in 2016.
Boonen was third at last year's race having won the 2012 edition and placed second in 2006. The Belgian will likely be on lead out duty for Kittel but provides a second option should the German be having an off day.
Joining the fast men for the 198.1km race is Belgian trio Nikolas Maes, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Stijn Vandenbergh and Italian duo Davide Martinelli and Matteo Trentin. Spaniard stagiaire Ivan Garcia Cortina completed the team as he makes his first appearance in the blue and black.
For Sunday's GP de Fourmies / La Voix du Nord across the border in France, Boonen and Kittel will again be the trump cards for Etixx-QuickStep. Kittel's best result at the race is third from 2012 while Boonen was runner-up to Fabio Felline last year.
Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe comes into the squad, for his first outing since the Olympic Games, as do Rodrigo Contreras, Laurens De Plus and Petr Vakoc. Trentin and Vandenbergh round out the team for their second race of the weekend.
Etixx-QuickStep for Brussels Cycling Classic: Tom Boonen (Bel), Ivan Garcia Cortina (Esp), Marcel Kittel (Ger), Nikolas Maes (Bel), Davide Martinelli (Ita), Matteo Trentin (Ita), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) and Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel).
Etixx-QuickStep for GP de Fourmies / La Voix du Nord: Julian Alaphilippe (Fra), Tom Boonen (Bel), Rodrigo Contreras Pinzon (Col), Laurens De Plus (Bel), Marcel Kittel (Ger), Matteo Trentin (Ita), Petr Vakoc (Cze) and Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel).
Zico Waeytens out of 2016 Vuelta a Espana
"From the beginning of today's stage I knew I wasn’t feeling good and my muscles lacked energy. Unfortunately today I was simply unable to keep on racing and I am very disappointed to end my Vuelta in this way," said Waeytens
Team physician Stephan Jacolino provided further details regarding Waeytens' condition and forced abandon from the race.
"Zico has been suffering from gastrointestinal discomfort since yesterday. As a result of the high temperatures and the huge effort demanded from this stage, he has been forced to quit prematurely La Vuelta," Jacolino said.
Waeytens joins teammate Warren Barguil in recording a DNF at the 2016 Vuelta.
Yanto Barker announces retirement
ONE Pro Cycling's Yanto Barker has announced the 2016 will be his last as a professional cyclist as he calls time on his career. The 36-year-old joined the British squad last season after stints with Continental squads DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed, Team UK Youth and Team Raleigh.
"I've been a full time professional cyclist since I was 16 leaving college to pursue my dream," Barker said. "Cycling has offered an opportunity for me to see the world meet many special people and most importantly it has been a way for me to get the best out of myself through my drive and ambition to achieve results. As my career developed so did my objectives moving to a more senior mentor type role in the teams I rode for later in my career. I've always enjoyed sharing my experience with younger riders and that has been a central role this year with ONE Pro Cycling."
Barker was part of ONE Pro Cycling's squad on its WorldTour debut at the Tour de Pologne and having had the opportunity to race at the highest level, he explained it was the right time to hang up the wheels.
"I'm very grateful to have been able to race this final year and finish my career with all my friends at ONE Pro Cycling," Baker added. "It's a great team and I wish everyone all the best in the future. It's the right time for me to move forward, my wife and I are expecting our first child and I will be able to concentrate full time on my business, I'm sure I will be involved in cycling in one form or another I won't be able to stay away, even if just as a fan!"
As the first rider signed for ONE Pro Cycling, CEO Matt Prior added that Barker will be missed and thanked him for his contributions to the team.
"Yanto's passion and commitment to the sport cannot be faulted and he has played a huge part in ONE Pro Cycling since the team was set up," Prior said. "His knowledge of the sport has been a great asset for our younger development cyclists and his professionalism and constant desire for improvement has set a standard for all to follow. We wish Yanto all the best for the future and the new challenges that lie ahead."
Hitec Products announce signing of Ingvild Gåskjenn and Katrine Aalerud
Norwegian women's team Hitec Products have announced two new signings for the 2017 season, welcoming onboard 18-year-old Ingvild Gåskjenn and 21-year-old Katrine Aalerud. Both riders, who are suited to climbing, have enjoyed racing with the national Norwegian team across the 2016 season. In 2016, Aalerud impressed with third place in the young rider classification at the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt and third in the national road race.
Susanne Andersen, 18, is the third confirmed rider on Hitec Products roster for 2017.
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