Marcel Kittel out riding Specialized bike before contract with Giant ends

The German rider posted a photo to Instagram of a striking pink S-Works 'cross bike that he'd been training on

Ahead of his move to Etixx - Quick-Step for the 2016 season, Marcel Kittel has been out training on a new bike.

The soon-to-be-former Giant-Alpecin rider is technically in contract with the German outfit until the standard contract switch date of January 1.

After a season from hell that saw him underperform in almost every race he entered, miss selection to the Tour de France and World Championships, Kittel was relased from his commitment to Giant-Alpecin a year early.

As such, it could be the case that all contractual obligations were also rescinded freeing up Kittel to ride whatever bike he likes.

The striking pink S-Works shown in the photo is a cyclocross machine meaning the 27-year-old is unlikely to be sizing up a race bike for the Tour Down Under.

Conversly, as he probably won't be racing 'cross this winter, it might also not conflict with any lasting obligation to ride Giant road bikes.

Riding the new machine may have something to do with Kittel's visit to Specalized's HQ in California.

Kittel will be looking to put 2015 behind him and the change of teams could be the fresh start the young sprinter needs to recapture the form that propelled him to multiple Grand Tour stages wins and Tour yellow jersey.

He has previously stated that he is not joing Etixx as a replacement Mark Cavendish, who is off to Dimension-Data, but with the sprint train still largely intact Kittel should be back to winning ways in no time.