Marcel Kittel won’t race again

Supported by Marcel Kittel has ended his career as a pro cyclist. Last May, Kittel ended his contract with Katusha and announced a break from pro cycling, but left the door open to return to the sport. This week, the German sprinter ended his career for good, first via an interview with Der Spiegel and then, on … The post Marcel Kittel won’t race again appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Marcel Kittel has officially retired from professional cycling

Marcel Kittel smile

Joe Robinson 23 Aug 2019 The German sprinter ends career having 'lost all motivation to keep torturing myself on a bike' German sprinter Marcel Kittel has announced his retirement for professional cycling having 'lost all motivation to keep torturing myself on a bike'. The 31-year-old broke contract with Katusha-Alpecin in May under mutual agreement stating at the time he had 'decided to take a break and take time for myself, think about my goals and make a plan for my future.' The 14-time Tour de France stage winner had struggled for 18 months to find form managing only three victories. It was also reported that Kittel had fallen out of favour with team management. Rumours had circulated that Kittel was considering a return to cycling with Dutch team Jumbo-Visma stating they would consider a move for the rider if he managed to get back into shape. However, Kittel has now ...

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Gilbert and Jakobsen headline Deceuninck-QuickStep at Vuelta a Espana

Philippe Gilbert celebrates as he wins Paris-Roubaix

Fabio Jakobsen will lead Deceneuninck-QuickStep ’s hunt for sprint victories at the 2019 Vuelta a España , while Philippe Gilbert makes his final Grand Tour appearance for the squad before switching to Lotto Soudal in 2020. Like Gilbert, Zdeněk Štybar will use the Vuelta to build towards the World Championships in Yorkshire. Maxi Richeze, also riding his last Grand Tour for the team before moving to UAE Team Emirates, will serve as Jakobsen’s lead-out man in Spain, while the squad also includes Rémi Cavagna, Tim Declercq, James Knox and Eros Capecchi. There is no place in the team for the Movistar-bound Enric Mas, who placed second overall a year ago. The Vuelta gets underway with a team time trial in Torrevieja on Saturday. "We have a nice mix of young and experienced riders, and our goal will be to go for stage victories. Fabio is making his first Grand Tour ...

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Marcel Kittel offered career lifeline by Jumbo-Visma, reports suggest

Marcel Kittel interview

Joe Robinson 3 Jun 2019 German sprinter is currently taking a break from professional cycling Marcel Kittel could be offered a career lifeline as reports suggest Jumbo-Visma will offer the German sprinter a contract. The 14-time Tour de France stage winner is currently taking a break from professional cycling after breaking contract with Katusha-Alpecin . At the time, Kittel cited an inability to 'train and race at the highest level' for the decision and that he would take some time to consider his future plans. The 31-year-old struggled to perform after his move from Quick-Step in 2017, taking only two victories in 18 months. Reports suggested that Kittel and his Katusha-Alpecin team then met for 'crisis talks' as he continued to struggle early into the 2019 season. The mutual decision to terminate Kittel's contract was made with the rider saying at the time: 'I have had the feeling of being ...

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Time for the Party at Mauro Vegni’s Place

In which I ramble about the Giro (as we cycling writers are wont to do) until I decide this post is long enough. In cycling there’s a good few maxims you can pretty much take for granted. Scheldeprijs will always be flat. Nobody will ever really target the Vuelta. Gianni Savio will always be there. You may think he’s gone, but he’s always there. I’m talking to you, Colombia. And finally, the Giro is every cycling fan’s favourite Grand Tour. Nobody prefers the Vuelta, for obvious reasons. Nobody likes the Tour because it’s too mainstream and less romantic. Well, there’s me. As you might have noticed from my body of work on this website over the last few years, I’ve prioritised it but as well as that, I’m a pragmatist. To me, Andy Schleck won the 2010 Tour because that’s what the records say. Alejandro Valverde is one of my ...

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Kittel withdraws from Tour of California

Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin)

Marcel Kittel 's return to racing has struck a further delay, with the German sprinter now pulling out of the Amgen Tour of California . Kittel hasn’t raced since finishing 99th at Scheldeprijs on April 10, and his California absence follows a late withdrawal from last week’s Tour de Yorkshire. Katusha-Alpecin confirmed the news to Cyclingnews on Wednesday, giving the same explanation as for Yorkshire, that Kittel is not healthy enough and not ready to race. The withdrawal is the latest setback in a difficult period for the 30-year-old, and leaves him with a mountain to climb if he is to get back on track for the Tour de France, which starts in just under two months. After a disappointing first season with Katusha in 2018, Kittel underwent blood tests to get to the bottom of his problems, and it seemed like he had put things right when he won ...

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O'Connor and Nizzolo to lead Dimension Data at Giro d'Italia

Ben O'Connor and Nicholas Dlamini in action during stage 2 at the Tour Down Under

Ben O’Connor and Giacomo Nizzolo will headline the Dimension Data team at this year’s Giro d’Italia . O’Connor will be heading the team’s GC bid, while Nizzolo is targeting stage victories in the sprint. The team will also include Mark Renshaw, who has been on the comeback trail since breaking his pelvis during a training crash in the off-season. Renshaw made his return at the Driedaagse De Panne-Brugge in March and has since raced Scheldeprijs and the Tour de Yorkshire. Having started the race as a support rider for Louis Meintjes, O’Connor was one of the star performers at last year’s Giro d’Italia. His performance was a ray of light in a difficult season for Dimension Data, but his race ended abruptly when he crashed on stage 19. He had been sitting just outside the top 10 at that point. The Australian has taken a slightly different approach to the ...

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Lawless ‘gutted’ despite taking race lead at Tour de Yorkshire

Chris Lawless (Team Ineos) took over the race lead

Chris Lawless almost capped a flawless display for Team Ineos at the Tour de Yorkshire but the British WorldTour team eventually had their pocket picked by Alexander Kamp and his Continental Riwal Readynez Cycling Team in Scarborough on stage 3. Kamp and his team went toe-to-toe with Team Ineos to take much deserved win in the seaside spring, although Lawless was left with some consolation. His second place finish saw him move into both the leader’s and points jerseys with one stage to go. “It was a real good job by the boys all day. It was us and the Riwal team that took the initiative to split the race in the crosswinds at the top of the climb. And that worked out,” Lawless said at the finish in Scarborough. Coming into the finish, Team Ineos still had numbers to play with. Chris Froome, Owain Doull and Lawless were among ...

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Kittel pulls out of Tour de Yorkshire due to health issues

Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin)

Marcel Kittel has pulled out of the Tour de Yorkshire at late notice due to "health issues", the Katusha-Alpecin team confirmed to Cyclingnews on Wednesday. The German sprinter has endured a difficult start to the 2019 season, and things don't appear to be improving, with two months to go until the Tour de France. Kittel, whose last appearance came with 99th place at Scheldeprijs on April 10, had recently added the Tour de Yorkshire to his programme, with the four-day race running from May 2-5 this week. However, after being announced as one of the big-name riders, he decided not to travel to the UK on Wednesday. The Katusha-Alpecin team would only cite "health issues", explaining that things had not improved since April and stating that "he is not healthy enough to race". The team nevertheless confirmed that Kittel is still due to ride the Tour of California later this ...

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Dates confirmed for 2020 Flanders Classics

Dates confirmed for 2020 Flanders Classics

Jack Elton-Walters 26 Apr 2019 The Classics season is almost over, so we're already looking ahead to 2020 Flanders Classics, the company behind most of the one-day Classics in Flanders, has confirmed the dates of its 2020 races. This year's races may still be fresh in the memory, but with what for many is the best part of the year – that is, the Classics season – coming to a close, it's already time to look ahead to next year's dose of cobbles and bergs. Grand Tours are fine but nothing beats the excitement and drama of the one day races, especially anything involving inappropriate road surfaces . With the overarching control of the racing calendar lying with the UCI and tradition dictating such things as Paris-Roubaix coming one week after the Tour of Flanders, and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne being the second part of an opening weekend kicked off by Omloop Het ...

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Kittel to pick himself back up at Tour de Yorkshire

Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin)

After a disappointing spring, Marcel Kittel will attempt to get his season back on track at the Tour de Yorkshire at the start of May as he sets about building towards the Tour de France. The German sprinter won the Trofeo Palma at Challenge Mallorca in his second appearance of the season but has since struggled for results. Third was his best stage finish at the UAE Tour, and he abandoned the subsequent Paris-Nice after struggling in the crosswinds in the early stages. His Classics campaign saw him fail to contest the bunch sprints at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, where he was 30th, and Scheldedprijs, where he finished 99th at 4:30 down in a race he has won five times. After Scheldeprijs he admitted to going through “a difficult period”, responding to criticism by saying it’s “easy to beat a man when he’s on the ground”. Kittel will pick himself up ...

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How Do We Even Talk About Mathieu van der Poel?

Mathieu van der Poel wins Brabantse Pijl

This is a difficult column to write. I don’t know where to start. Maybe with a confession: I am a huge fan of Mathieu van der Poel, whom I first encountered in Louisville in 2013, and adopted as my favorite rider sometime around the time when he stormed on to the elite CX scene the following year, capped with an utterly premature world title. I don’t know why I decided to root for him, but it happens a lot with young Dutch riders. I can’t really explain it. Getty Images Van der Poel in Louisville On that day, van der Poel won his second world junior cyclocross title. By that summer, he added the Dutch and World road titles. I think basically at that point it became clear he was going to be someone special. And so he has. But what? Yesterday van der Poel won De Brabantse Pijl, his ...

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In the velodrome: the final Power poll

It’s time to leave the cobbles behind and wrap things up with a final entry in our series of power polls of the cobbles season. People are always looking for narratives in the cycling season and for me the classics campaign, the cobbles bit in particular, is the most obvious example of a natural narrative there is. No one in ever Aigle sat down to set down rules and jerseys etc. for it, but the logic and progression from Omloop to Roubaix is undeniable and riveting to follow. For me even more so than a Grand Tour which has too many distractions and sideplots, plus it goes by too fast to really allow you to enjoy it to the full. Cobbles season is like following a good TV series with an episode every week and anticipation in between. Grand Tours is like binge watching the whole thing in one sleepless ...

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Steels: We've had a good Classics campaign, no matter what happens at Paris-Roubaix

Team car in tow for Deceuninck-Quick Step as they recon Paris-Roubaix

Momentum and expectancy are two bywords that would have defined Deceuninck-QuickStep 's spring until recent weeks. However, after failures to win Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders – although they were second in the latter – all eyes now turn to Sunday's Paris-Roubaix . Victory for the Belgian outfit would reinforce their dominance as the Classics team of the year, but a loss would possibly take the gloss off their entire Classics campaign. That may appear harsh for a team that ran away with both wins at Opening Weekend , that demolished the opposition at the E3 BinckBank Classic , and sewed their run together with victories at Scheldeprijs and Le Samyn , but such is the nature of the sport. A team is only as good as its last result, and in the last two major appointments at Gent-Wevelgem and Flanders, the team has missed out. High standards, of ...

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Luke Rowe looking to turn Team Sky's classics fortunes around at Paris-Roubaix

Luke Rowe (team Sky)

On the eve of the final race of the 2019 cobbled Classics, Luke Rowe told reporters that Team Sky ’s campaign had not lived up to expectations. However, the Welshman is still determined to turn things around for himself and the team with Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix . Rowe came into the spring classics in strong form with a good showing in the crosswinds of Paris-Nice, but had a difficult return to the cobbles getting his ‘head kicked in’ at E3 BinckBank Classic. There was a promising sixth at Dwars door Vlaanderen but the Tour of Flanders did not go to plan. He decided to skip Scheldeprijs while he got himself ready for Paris-Roubaix. “I’ve been in Belgium now for two and a half weeks it has been a long few weeks. We’ve said that we’ve got a strong team and we are looking to come to these races to compete for ...

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Hell’s Bells! The Paris-Roubaix Preview

The best race day of the season is upon us. I’m of course talking about the Hell on the Schelde [looks at calendar, then looks at assignment.] Oh, never mind, it looks like the best race day of the season is already behind us. So, I guess we’ll talk about Roubaix, instead. I don’t think I’d be exaggerating in calling Roubaix the most anticipated race day of the season. Sure, it might not have the prestige of the Tour de France or the beer-soaked reverence of Flanders, but what it does have is a penchant for bringing the pain to the peloton like no other race. Its currency is suffering, and we are the sadists that are buying. And the riders are the masochists that enjoy it. I don’t have to remind most of you about the interview that Theo de Rooij gave to John Tesh (who knows a thing ...

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Boasson Hagen leads experienced Dimension Data team at Paris-Roubaix

Dimension Data's Edvald Boasson Hagen grits his teeth at the 2019 Tour of Flanders

Edvald Boasson Hagen will head up a strong and experienced Dimension Data team at this year's Paris-Roubaix in a determined bid to kickstart the African WorldTour team's slow start to the season. The Norwegian will be looking to improve on his best finishing position of fifth at the 2016 race – the year when Australia's Mat Hayman took the top prize – and will start his eighth Roubaix in Compiègne, France, on Sunday. On hand to assist him will be the vastly experienced Lars Bak and Bernie Eisel , who between them have ridden 'The Hell of the North' 27 times. Bak will be starting his 13th Roubaix, while Eisel has ridden – and finished – the race 15 times before, making Dimension Data one of the most experienced squads to be taking on the cobbles of northern France this weekend. Boasson Hagen has taken one of only two wins ...

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Changing of the guard: Is it all over for sprinters Kittel and Greipel?

Changing of the guard: Is it all over for sprinters Kittel and Greipel?

Joe Robinson 11 Apr 2019 Greipel contemplates being 'too old' while Kittel faces 'crisis talks' with Katusha-Alpcein The changing of the sprinting guard seems complete as various reports suggest German duo Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel have begun to admit they are past their best. Both riders have been the subject of reports in the Belgian press centred around the struggles both have been experiencing in the opening months of the season. Despite 44 race days between them this season, Greipel and Kittel have only managed a single victory each so far in 2019 – Stage 6 of La Tropicale Amissa Bongo for the former, and the Trofeo Palma for the latter. Hardly the sort of spoils the pair are used to fighting over. By this point of the 2017 season, the German duo had registered 10 wins between them. When young Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan agreed a move from ...

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Team Katusha raises red flag given Kittel’s recent results

Team Katusha raises red flag given Kittel’s recent results

After more disappointment at Scheldeprijs, series of 'crisis' meetings planned to address the fast-fading sprinter's form. Read the full article at Team Katusha raises red flag given Kittel’s recent results on VeloNews.com .

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Kittel's poor form 'makes no sense', says Demol

Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin)

Marcel Kittel' s problems are not only continuing, but are getting worse. After being dropped on the flat at Scheldeprijs , finishing 99th in the race he has won five times, even Katusha-Alpecin head sport director Dirk Demol said that the situation "makes no sense". The 2019 season started out promisingly for Kittel but soon went south, and things didn't improve with the Spring Classics. The German sprinter was never a factor in either Driedaagse Brugge – De Panne or Scheldeprijs. After struggling the whole race on Wednesday, Kittel was finally dropped from the main field and finished a disappointing 99th, over four and a half minutes down. "I cannot hide that this makes no sense. In terms of condition, he is just not in order, otherwise you don't just get dropped on the flat,” Demol told Dutch cycling website Wielerflits . “He is just as disappointed as we are. ...

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