Team Giant-Alpecin sprinter Marcel Kittel looks ahead to his trip to Australia, where he hopes to start as he means to go on

Marcel Kittel says performing well at the Tour Down Under will lift some of the early-season pressure from his shoulders.

The German sprinter notched up his first win in 2014 at the People’s Choice Classic in Adelaide, but failed to break the top-50 in any stage of the Tour Down Under.

But, like any sprinter, Kittel likes to get that winning feeling as early in the year as possible rather than suffer a lingering wait for glory.

“Hopefully the Tour Down Under can be a good start to my season, that’s what I’ve had for the last two years there,” he told Cycling Weekly at the Team Giant-Alpecin launch in Berlin.

“I really like the place and the good weather, though at the moment it’s maybe a bit too hot, but it’s good to get the first kilometres in my legs.

“The big goal that every sprinter has is to win early in the season and lift the pressure.”

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Team Giant-Alpecin squad for the Tour Down Under
Marcel Kittel
Simon Geschke
Lawson Craddock
Koen de Kort
Tom Dumoulin
Albert Timmer
Chad Haga