Marcel Kittel fighting for fitness after energy-sapping virus

German sprinter early-season preparations disrupted after he was forced to retire from Tirreno-Adriatico stage race

Marcel Kittel rides stage 12 of the 2014 Tour de France (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) is having to restart his training after being laid low by a virus picked up at the Tour Down Under.

The German sprinter struggled through the Tour of Qatar but then withdrew from the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, where he was set for a much-anticipated showdown with Mark Cavendish.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.