Etixx-Quick Step sports director Brian Holm is confident that new signing Marcel Kittel will be a big success at the Belgian team

Etixx-Quick Step directeur sportif Brian Holm is full of praise for his new charge Marcel Kittel and declared his confidence that the German sprinter would add to his win tally in 2016.

Kittel endured a miserable season in 2015, with his early-season preparations cut short by illness, before being overlooked for both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana, as well as Germany’s World Championships team in September.

He then parted ways with Giant-Alpecin with a year left on his contract, his only victory of 2015 coming on stage one of the Tour of Poland in August.

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Kittel replaces Mark Cavendish as Etixx’s lead sprinter in 2016, with the Manxman leaving to join Dimension Data. But Holm believes his former protege will find it harder to settle with his new team than Kittel will at Etixx.

“With Cav, you really have to know him good to love him,” he told Cycling Weekly. “Everybody loves Kittel, or Tom Boonen, or Tony Martin – that’s easy because they’re so [laid back]…but, with Cav, you have to take him because he starts to stress and sometimes you have the feeling you have to smash him before he shuts up.

“Sometimes you have to say, ‘Cav, shut the f*** up’…then he’ll come and say sorry.”

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And who is going to do that at Dimension Data?

“I hope [Rolf] Aldag [Dimension Data Performance Manager],” Holm said. “I think he can handle it.”

He added: “[Dimension Data] needed somebody like [Aldag] to survive.”

  • Rupert the Super Bear

    Everything will hinge on Kittel finding his sprinting legs again.

  • dourscot

    I think he was poking fun at Cav – he was Cav’s best man for crying out loud. They are close friends.

  • MrHaematocrit

    Has anyone told Brian Holm to shut up, the world knows Cav is tightly wound & emotional. This is not news. Hope Kittel fits in though or Brian may find he does long term sick again.