Marcel Kittel joins Etixx-Quick Step on a two-year contract after Giant-Alpecin released the German from his contract

Marcel Kittel has joined Etixx-Quick Step on a two-year contract just days after Giant-Alpecin announced they would be rescinding his contract.

The German will effectively replace departing sprinter Mark Cavendish and will ride alongside exciting young Colombian fastman Fernando Gaviria in 2016.

Kittel suffered a torrid 2015 season, with an illness picked up after the Tour Down Under hampering his early-season schedule.

Having won eight stages of the Tour de France between 2013 and 2014, he was left out of Giant’s squad for this year’s race in favour of John Degenkolb. He was also omitted from their Vuelta squad as well as Germany’s team for the World Championships.

“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,” Kittel said. “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.

He added: “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 said: “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.”

  • Za Dinardo

    It’s certainly interesting. I haven’t seen him race for a long time – I was at the Tour de Yorkshire but he’d abandoned before my viewpoint, and as far as I know that was his last race.
    On the face of it I think he’s made a mistake leaving Giant as they arguably had the best lead-out, but who knows what’s gone on behind closed doors? Having the best lead-out and another year on his contract obviously wasn’t enough.

  • Aurelio

    It seems the Lefevere expected more from Cav in the Tour and his Olympics ambitions were another reason to let him go. There are too many stars in Etixx and he needs a team built around him to get the best out of him.
    Kittel will have the same problem, Etixx will never have a train like Giant did.

  • Nigel Rue

    I wonder how long this has been in the planning? It has looked for a long time that Cav was being eased out.