German sprinter joins Katusha-Alpecin on two-year deal
Speaking about the move, Kittel said that he was looking forward to joining a team which had shown that it was working well in sprint finishes.
“I find all the requirements in the team that I need to be strong in the sprint finals,” said the German sprinter. “I saw that the sprint train is functioning very well.
“Team Katusha-Alpecin has undergone a major change in recent years. I’ve been watching these changes for a long time and I think it’s good. That is why I am looking forward to being part of the team and share the direction they are headed.”
Watch: Marcel Kittel’s toughest day
Katusha general manager José Azevedo said that Kittel, winner of five stages at the 2017 Tour de France, would be given the team’s full support as he tried to rack up more Grand Tour wins.
“We are very happy to have Marcel in the team,” said Azevedo. “We can say that he is at the moment the best sprinter in the world. He showed this quite impressively in the Tour de France where he won five stages.
“He will be one of our most important riders and can look forward to strong team support. We will try to support him in the best possible way to ensure that he can continue his successful results.”
Kittel is only the second rider, after Matteo Trentin, to announce that he is leaving Quick-Step Floors at the end of 2017. With the Belgian outfit’s future sponsorship apparently still to be secured, the team had expected to lose a number of major riders.
However the team has announced that a number of major riders such as Philippe Gilbert, Niki Terpstra, Julian Alaphilippe, and Bob Jungels have all renewed their contracts, with Dan Martin the only other big name expected to depart.