• Marcel Kittel working for German television at the 2019 Tour de France. (Getty)Source: Getty
German sprint specialist Marcel Kittel on Friday announced his retirement from the sport, saying he lacked the commitment and drive that was necessary to remain a top athlete.
Cycling Central

24 Aug 2019 - 10:20 AM 

The 31-year-old, who has 19 Grand Tours stage wins including 14 on the Tour de France, terminated his contract with Team Katusha by mutual agreement in May to take a break from cycling.

He joined the Swiss outfit last year but never managed to reproduce the form that made him one of the world’s best sprinters, leading him to take some time out of cycling.

“The biggest question of the last few months was: Can I and do I want to continue to make the sacrifices needed to be a world-class athlete?,” Kittel said in a statement.

“And my answer is: No, I do not want that any more because I have always found the limitations on a top athlete as an increasing loss of quality of life.

“That is why I am very happy and proud that at this point in my life I can make the decision to follow my heart in a new direction.”

Kittel’s last significant victory came last year in the sixth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico week-long race while his last win on the Tour de France was in 2017.

Cavendish throws support behind troubled Kittel
Mark Cavendish has reiterated support for embattled German rival Marcel Kittel as he aims to put his own demons to bed at the Amgen Tour of California from Monday.
Kittel terminates Katusha contract to take break from cycling
German sprinter Marcel Kittel has terminated his contract with Team Katusha by mutual agreement to take a break from cycling, the rider and the team announced on Thursday.