>>> Marcel Kittel results and rider profile

Nationality: German
Date of birth: May 11, 1988
Height: 189cm
Weight: 86kg
Team: Etixx-QuickStep
Twitter: @marcelkittel

Marcel Kittel burst on to the scene when he won four stages of the 2013 Tour de France, stealing Mark Cavendish’s crown as the sprint king of the peloton. The big German had previously won stages in the Vuelta but his Tour debut in 2012 had ended abruptly due to illness. Now with stage wins in the 2014 Giro d’Italia he has joined an elite group of riders with wins in all three Grand Tours.

His Giant-Shimano sprint train took charge at the 2013 Tour as Omega Pharma didn’t have the right riders to fulfill this role. Kittel’s loyal team mates adapted their approach choosing to hit a bunch sprint fast and late (Cavendish’s preference is for his team to take control for the final 10km).

Kittel made history in 2014, when managed to win his third consecutive Scheldeprijs and he has twice worn the maillot jaune, having won the first stage of the Tour in 2013 and 2014.

2015 was something of a nightmare for the young German sprinter, however, with Kittel picking up a virus at the Tour Down Under which had a knock-on effect on his entire season. He struggled through the Tour of Qatar and was forced to withdraw from Tirreno-Adriatico, managing just 12 racing days before May. He returned to racing at the Tour de Yorkshire, but abandoned during the first stage.

Despite winning a stage and the points jersey at the Tour of Poland, Kittel was overlooked for Giant-Alpecin’s Vuelta team and Germany’s line-up for the World Championships and he was eventually allowed out of the final year of his contract by mutual consent.

With Cavendish leaving Etixx-Quick Step for Dimension Data, a sprinter’s spot opened up at the Belgian outfit and Kittel signed in October, determined to make up for a torrid 2015.

Kittel got off the mark immediately, winning stage one of the Dubai Tour on his Etixx debut, before adding the fourth and final stage on his way to both the overall and points classifications.

Kittel’s top speed is his strongest weapon, and the fact that he can hold it for longer than other sprinters (he was a better TT rider than sprinter before turning pro) could see him dominate the sprints for years to come, especially with the power of Etixx-Quick Step behind him.

Major results: 2016 Dubai Tour | 2014 Scheldeprijs | 2014 Giro d’Italia | 2013 TdF

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Five talking points from the Dubai Tour

Marcel Kittel won stage four and therefore the overall title at the Dubai Tour, but that wasn't the only talking point from the four stages this week

2015 Tour de France Presentation

Etixx-Quick Step announce Marcel Kittel signing

Marcel Kittel has joined Etixx-Quick Step on a two-year contract just days after Giant-Alpecin announced they would be rescinding his contract. The German will effectively replace departing sprinter Mark Cavendish…