Marcel Kittel to join Etixx - Quick-Step after Giant-Alpecin exit
Last Updated: 10/10/15 5:02pm
German sprinter Marcel Kittel will join the Belgian team Etixx - Quick-Step for the 2016 and 2017 seasons after being released from his Giant-Alpecin contract.
Kittel's move was made possible after another top sprinter, Britain's Mark Cavendish, left to join African team MTN Qhubeka, who will be renamed Dimension Data next season.
The 27-year-old Kittel has eight Tour de France stage wins to his name but has struggled with form and health after missing most of this season because of a virus.
On Facebook, Kittel said: "I have found a new team which has put its trust in me and wants to support me in my goals.
"I am looking forward to the new challenges at Etixx - Quick-Step. They are one of the best teams in the world and therefore being on the same team again as my old friend Tony Martin.
"The team offers me a great and highly-professional environment, in which I can continue to develop, and having had Mark Cavendish in its ranks, has a lot of experience with sprinters."
In a team statement, Etixx - Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere said on Monday: "We are thrilled about the arrival of Marcel.
"He has shown incredible pure speed which makes him one of the best sprinters in the history of the sport. As a team we will do our best to put him in the right condition, building a group of riders around him."