Marcel Kittel, who won five stages on this year's Tour de France, will join Team Katusha next year after putting pen to paper on a two-year deal.
Cycling Central

17 Aug 2017 - 7:36 AM 

Leading sprinter Marcel Kittel will join Team Katusha Alpecin in January after signing a two-year deal.

The German, who currently rides for Quick-Step Floors, won five stages of this year's Tour de France and had looked well placed to hold on to the green jersey until a crash ended his race.

"I'm really looking forward to a new challenge in new colours," Kittel said. "For me, this moment is exciting. With this step, I also hope to get new inspiration.

"I think, I find all the requirements in the team that I need to be strong in the sprint finals. I saw that the sprint train is functioning very well.

"The team has undergone a major change in recent years and I've been watching these changes for a long time and I think it's good. That is why I am looking forward to being part of it and share the direction they are headed."

Replacing Kittel at Quick-Step Floors is Italian Elia Viviani, who has spent the last three years with Team Sky.

Viviani is known as one of the most versatile riders in the peloton, having won 45 races on the road as well as the Olympic omnium title and five European gold medals on the track.

“Quick-Step Floors is the best choice I could make," Viviani said. "When Patrick Lefevere came with this offer, I just couldn’t say no to one of the biggest teams in the world.

"I am honoured to join a squad with such a fantastic pedigree, one that has excelled in the art of sprinting over time. I couldn’t be happier about this transfer, so that’s why I want to thank Patrick and the entire team for this chance and their trust.

"This is the right step in my career because I’m confident it can help me progress. I am 28 now and I really want to find out next season what I can do in an outfit which gives me opportunities."