Marcel Kittel writes openly about his disagreement with the team about being left out of the Giant-Alpecin 2015 Tour de France squad, calling it the "most difficult moment in his career"

The 2014 Tour de France’s sprint king Marcel Kittel is upset with the “difficult” situation he finds himself in after being left out of this year’s race.

The German will sit at home this July because his Giant-Alpecin team said that he lacked fitness and overlooked him in its nine-man selection on Wednesday.

Kittel won four stages at the 2014 Tour, from the first in Harrogate with the yellow jersey to the final one in Paris on the Champs-Élysées, and counts four from 2013. This year, however, he has been chasing top form after a virus knocked him out in the spring.

“Not being nominated is without doubt the most difficult time of my career,” Kittel said on his website.

“The forced pause this spring was already not easy. Although there were times I wanted to just throw in the towel, I tried to stay strong and find a way.

“This is just another blow to me, that I didn’t earn my team’s trust for a Tour nomination. It is not a good situation but on the other hand, instructive. I will learn to cope with it and thereby I will also grow.”

Kittel only counts one win this year, from the non-ranked criterium ahead of the Tour Down Under in January. Despite feeling down and missing training days, he forced his return in the Tour of Qatar in February.

>>> Tour de France 2015 start list: latest team announcements

That decision failed to pay-off and he had to take more days off after the race and skip races like the Tirreno-Adriatico, Scheldeprijs and the Tour of California. He returned in the Tour de Yorkshire, but pulled the brakes early and quit. However, recent races in Germany and The Netherlands showed that he is on the road to recovery.

Kittel is one of cycling’s top sprinters along with Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal). He sounded upset that he was denied a chance to face his rivals even if his fitness is not at its best.

“Of course, after this long pause, the team is uncertain as to how long my form would hold at the Tour. But then again, nobody knows what would have happened if I would have started. There are several good chances for sprinters at the Tour,” Kittel continued.

“Now I must live with this decision. Hopefully I will find new goals for the remainder of the season. At this point, however, I don’t really know how to make up for this disappointment. I am still too busy coping with the effects of this decision. Of course I want to show again this year what I can do. It’s just that the Tour is always so important.

“I find it particularly difficult that I can’t start, because the ARD (German television) is again reporting from the Tour this year. I have fought for a long time, really engaged myself, that the German cameras will be focused on us again. That makes me proud. I would gladly have presented myself on German TV to my many fans, who have seen my eight stage wins and me in the yellow jersey on other networks. We will just have to put that off.”

He did not say his plans, but Kittel could return for races like the Arctic Race of Norway, the Vattenfall Cyclassics, the Tour of Britain or the last grand tour of the season, the Vuelta a España.

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  • Chris Wilson

    Hahahahahaha Hahahahahaha Hahahahahaha Hahahahahaha!
    Maybe the UV treatment has finally caught up with Marcel, maybe his immune system was compromised as a result of that “treatment”…..Maybe……

  • Aurelio

    Kittel is a pure sprinter and Cavendish is also a pure sprinter who is more versatile than Kittel who is a 1 trick kind of guy, without a leadout and a flat race he will problably lose. Cav can improvise without a leadout and can climb better.
    But Degenkolb is more of a power sprinter like Thor Hushovd was. Yes he can win sprint but not in a flat race against those guys. He is better in harder races and if you look his palmares Paris-Tours, Gent-Wevelgem, Paris-Roubaix you have to say that he is much more than a sprinter.
    And come on, only winning Milan-Sanremo does not make anyone a classics rider.

  • Stevie

    Cav has won milan san remo does this make him a classics rider instead of a sprinter?

    they are both sprinters who like a slight uphill finish, the only difference is Degenkolb has form atm and kittel has none.

  • Timlewis

    Mark cavendish is an arrogant bad loser . Marcel kittel is in a different class altogether .

  • Aurelio

    I really hope that he gets at least 4 stages and the Green Jersey because it is a great opportunity without Kittel.

  • Aurelio

    Kittel is a pure sprinter and Degenkolb is a classics rider and a power sprinter. They are two different kinds of riders. Of course Degenkolb´s palmares are more impressive than Kittel´s.

  • hailpantani

    Imo, Cav won’t improve as a rider, but he may stay on a high plateau for a year or two before the downward slope. Here’s hoping. But whatever, he deserves our gratitude for years of sprinting of the highest order.

  • Stevie

    ”Kittel had some lucky, some may say even jammy, wins over Cavendish in last year’s Tour” Cav crashed out on day one :S. john degenkolb is in much better for than kittel has ever been.

  • Nigel Rue

    I feel we have seen the best of Cav, but Kittel is still developing as a sprinter. On the up side, it does give Cav a good chance to close in on the overall stage winners top position.

  • Aurelio

    I am a Cav fan, but I would like to have Kittel in the race because wins against him would make his come back to the Tour even more amazing.