uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

German sprinting ace believes he is back to his best twelve months after being left out of the Tour de France.

Photo: Sirotti








20.06.2016 @ 09:32 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

A year ago, Marcel Kittel went to the Ster ZLM Toer hoping to prove to his then employer, Giant-Alpecin, that he was good enough to be included in their Tour de France team after battling viruses that undermined his form for months. However, his mission failed and he did not manage to prove to the team’s management that he was ready for the Tour. Accordingly, he was excluded from their Tour line-up.


Fast forward to June 2016 and Marcel Kittel finds himself in an entirely different position. Speaking to Cyclingnews on the eve of the Ster ZLM Toer, the German is in new team colours and looks invigorated. Ten wins, including two at the Giro d’Italia for Etixx-Quickstep, lie at the heart of Kittel’s new-found optimism.


“Things have changed massively since I came to this race last year. Back then my form wasn’t good and there were all kinds of questions hanging over me,” Kittel said. “It couldn’t be any more different coming back here this year. But it is what it is, and I’m happy that we’re a year on from that time and that the situation is very different and definitely a lot better than last time. It’s good to have my focus back on what I’d like it to be on, which is what is coming up at the Tour and especially in the sprints.”


The race on Dutch soil is Kittel’s first outing since he withdrew from the Giro ahead of stage nine, the Chianti time trial, due to fatigue. Following a month out of competition, Kittel has returned with his focus on fine-tuning his form before the Tour, which begins in less than two weeks. He is adamant that he is not thinking about July too much, but is savouring his return to the sport’s biggest race, which begins with a stage to Utah Beach which may well end with a bunch sprint that will see the winner don the yellow jersey.


“It doesn’t occupy my thoughts too much at the moment, but I know it’s not far away now and I am thinking about it, but not daily and certainly not every hour or second,” he said. “I do have my objectives for the Tour. I definitely know about the first stage and I want to be good on that day. However, like every previous year, I’ll start the Tour and just see how it goes, take it day by day. Of course, the first stage is very important, but it’s not the end of the Tour de France.”


If Kittel was in a dejected mood a year ago, his spirits are much more optimistic and positive now. He believes the move to Etixx-QuickStep has refreshed him. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that we’ve done an incredible job in the races that we’ve done together. We weren’t only strong, but we were smart as well, which is a very important point for me,” he explained. “The successes we’ve had have provided a great base to work from and from which to target even more success.”


Once the Tour has been completed, and Kittel is not likely to abandon the French grand tour easily, Kittel and many other sprinters will set their sights on the Worlds in Qatar, where the course will certainly suit them. However, Kittel was reluctant to go into any discussions on how the German team might tackle it with André Greipel and John Degenkolb also likely to be strong contenders.


“We’ll have to see about the Worlds. I won’t engage in any discussion about them until the Tour is over,” he insisted. “The Tour’s the race that will show once again who the fastest guy is, especially over three weeks. So far I think I’ve got every reason to be relaxed and looked forward to what is my next goal.”



The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21Androni sign Costa Rican super talent 04.01.2017 @ 17:13

Currently no news in this list

31 years | today
30 years | today
28 years | today
40 years | today
Hiroyuki SUZUKI
39 years | today