Kittel Moves from Quick-Step to Katusha

RBA/AFP

Sprint star Marcel Kittel has quit Belgium’s Team Quick Step-Floors to link up with Germany’s world time-trial champion Tony Martin at Swiss outfit Katusha-Alpecin, it was announced on Wednesday. Kittel, 29, had an outstanding 2017 Tour de France, winning five stages last month and holding the sprinters’ green jersey for 12 days before being forced to withdraw from the race after a crash on the 17th stage in the Alps. The German has signed a two-year deal with Katusha.

“I am looking forward to racing with the team and especially with Tony and some of the other German riders,” said Kittel. He also thanked his previous employers for helping him recover from a virus that plagued him in 2015 and saw him miss that year’s Tour de France due to poor form. “I got some great support over the last two years and was able to get back to my previous best after my horror year in 2015,” he added.

Kittel had won four stages at the Tour in each of 2013 and 2014 but after missing the 2015 edition could win only one last year. His five wins this year made him the most successful German stage winner in the world’s most prestigious bike race. Kittel will be linking up with Martin again after the pair raced together for the German-based Energie Team 10 years ago as juniors, while they also spent last season together at Quick Step.

Photos: Bettini

Katushakittel