Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quick Step) is in a bullish mood ahead of the opening stages of the 2016 Giro d’Italia, with the German saying he doesn’t fear any of the other sprinters in the race.

The battle for the first sprint stages will be fierce, with many of the peloton’s fastest riders heading to the Netherlands, including Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge).

Kittel is also a decent time triallist, so will be looking not to lose too much time to the specialists in the first stage’s 9.8km to maintain a hope of wearing the pink jersey at some point in the first week.

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The time bonuses on offer for the first three riders across the line could allow Kittel to take the overall lead on stage two or three if he can limit his losses on stage one.

Kittel may not make it all the way to Turin, especially with a gruelling third week in the mountains, but the German will be a favourite to wear the red sprinter’s jersey in the first two weeks.