It’s a scene you normally see in football – a player gets dropped for a big game and he hands in a transfer request – but that’s not the case with Marcel Kittel, according to Giant-Alpecin.
Kittel was not included in Giant’s Tour de France squad last week after his early season was ruined with a recurring illness picked up after the Tour Down Under.
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The sprinter admitted to being upset with the decision, but coach Christian Guiberteau insists disappointment doesn’t mean an imminent departure.
“For any rider the ultimate aim is to be at the Tour. If he hadn’t been disappointed I’d have been disappointed in him,” Guiberteau told AFP.
“It was a very difficult choice for the sports direction team, very tough, especially for a rider that has brought us so much success and advanced the team through his results.
“It was a painful decision but the reality is he was ill, he took a long time to come back and he’s disappointed, but that’s normal.
“Of course Marcel will still be with us next year, everyone would like to have a great sprinter like him but it’s true it’s very difficult for him not to be at the Tour.
“But from the team’s perspective, there are no doubts for the future.”