Belgian newspaper reports that Marcel Kittel will leave Giant-Alpecin and join Etixx-QuickStep for the 2016 season

German sprinter Marcel Kittel will move from Giant-Alpecin to Etixx-QuickStep for 2016, according to a report by Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad.

Kittel has endured a torrid season plagued by illness and poor form, and only took two victories in 2015 – in the People’s Choice Classic in Australia and the opening stage of the Tour of Poland. He missed all three Grand Tours having won two stages of the Giro d’Italia and four stages of the Tour de France in 2014.

Kittel was hugely disappointed to miss the Tour, and described his non-selection for the race as “without doubt the most difficult time of my career”.

A move to Etixx-QuickStep would mean breaking the remainder of Kittel’s contract with Giant-Alpecin, which runs until the end of 2016.

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Kittel, 27, has been with the team since turning professional in 2011 and a move to the Belgian WorldTour outfit would signal a fresh start.

Yesterday, after months of speculation, it was finally confirmed that Mark Cavendish will leave Etixx-QuickStep, creating the space for another sprint specialist in the team alongside 21-year-old Colombian prospect Fernando Gaviria.

Cavendish will join Team Dimension Data – currently known as MTN-Qhubeka – on a three-year deal.

  • andrew1953

    Just hope that this guy gets on track, who ever he’s with. His absence from the scene has been a big loss in 2015.

  • Edvid

    Regarding Rio, here’s how I see things:

    Gaviria is a very promising youngster, so Lefevere probably sees the Olympic track programme as an acceptable concession that he won’t have to worry about for the remainder of the omnium world champion’s stint (post-2016) with EQS.

    Cav on the other hand was signed up for a very handsome fee due to his 2008-12 TdF sprinting credentials and was thought to be finished with the track (save for the occasional six-day). He’s had a good stint overall, but they both hoped for better from the TdF.

  • Aurelio

    Lefevere is a weird guy. I read it that he is letting Gaviria focus on track next year but he was against Cavendish do it. Maybe that was a way to just let him go to get Kittel and a new german sponsor.

  • johnny34

    Every Lidl helps!