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by Shane Stokes
October 5, 2015
Photography by Cor Vos
Confirming a transfer reported last week and made possible by a mutual rescinding of his existing contract, Marcel Kittel and Etixx – Quick-Step have finalised a two year agreement.
Under the deal, Kittel will move from Giant-Alpecin and will take up the lead sprinter role vacated by Mark Cavendish.
“I want to thank the team for the faith they’ve put in me, and that they will support me in this new chapter of my career,” said Kittel. “I am looking forward to the new challenges of Etixx – Quick-Step, a team, I consider as one of the best teams in the world. This team has one of the best, well organized structures around its riders.”
Kittel has taken eight Tour de France stage wins, two stages in the Giro and three victories in Scheldeprijs. He’s also taken overall stage race wins in the 2011 Delta Tour Zeeland and the 2013 Tour de Picardie.
He had a disappointing 2015 season due to illness, but believes a fresh start will see him get back to the top of world sprinting.
“Etixx – Quick-Step offers me a great, highly professional environment, where I can continue to develop and improve,” he said, speaking about the new setup. “Having had Mark Cavendish in its ranks, it has a lot of experience with sprinters.
“I am also happy that I have a few friends on this team already, including Tony Martin. Tony is one of my best friends in cycling. We rode together when we were younger, and I can’t wait to do it again at the professional level.”
Etixx – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere described the team as thrilled with Kittel’s move.
“In the last years he showed incredible pure speed, which makes him one of the best sprinters in the history of the sport. As a team we will do our best to put him in the right condition, building a group of riders around him.
“He showed his potential in just a few years time, with dominating performances among his palmares. We are sure that, together, we can achieve more big goals, and that we have yet to see the best of Marcel Kittel.”