Marcel Kittel wins Three Days of De Panne 2012 stage two

Emerging German sprinter Marcel Kittel is prepping for a battle royale against British world champion Mark Cavendish at this year's Tour de France.

The 24-year-old headlines the Pro Continental Argos-Shimano squad that is largely based around the second-year professional, who has extended his contract with the outfit until 2014.

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Sophie Smith is an Australian journalist, broadcaster and author of Pain & Privilege: Inside Le Tour. She follows the WorldTour circuit, working for British, Australian and US press, and has covered 10 Tours de France.