'I'm facing a difficult period': Marcel Kittel responds to criticism over poor form

Team bosses had publicly criticised Kittel after he was dropped on the flats and finished 99th at Scheldeprijs

Marcel Kittel racing the 6th Tour de France Saitama Criterium 2018 (David Ramos/Getty)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fourteen-time Tour de France stage winner Marcel Kittel has hit back at critics after Katusha-Alpecin said they'd be holding a "crisis meeting" with their rider after his poor run of form.

Kittel said: "Always easy to beat a man when he's on the ground. I'm facing a difficult period and I'm thankful for everyone who is supporting me now. To those people making headlines on my cost now: enjoy your minute of fame!"

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