The German hopes to end his first year with Etixx – Quick-Step on a high note.
Marcel Kittel is preparing for a well-deserved holiday after a busy and rewarding season, which saw him race more than 70 days and chain success after success while cementing his status as one of the peloton's top sprinters, but not before the World Championships, where he is set to ride both the team time trial, with Etixx – Quick-Step, and the road race, as part of the German national squad.
"I said since some time ago that if I am fit enough, then I am doing the team time trial. It's true that I had some stomach problems in the Eneco Tour, but thankfully I have recovered well. It will be for the second time in my career that I'll ride the TTT and I look forward to this challenge", said Marcel, a former Junior ITT World Champion and bronze medalist in the U23 category, who proved his prowess against the clock most recently in the Eneco Tour team time trial, where Etixx – Quick-Step finished a close second.
At the beginning of the season, the 28-year-old German raced in the Middle East, winning two stages and the general classification at the Dubai Tour, but is aware of the fact that things will be completely different now, as the weather conditions are set to have a bigger impact on the outcome.
"I'm happy to have come in Qatar a few days before the competition kicks off, because the body needs some time to get used with the heat, especially as in Europe is autumn and temperatures have dropped to 10 degrees. It was a wise choice and I'm sure it will play into my advantage. I am motivated and confident we can get a strong result, but it remains to be seen how the conditions will be, because riding in dry or in humid air makes a big difference, and things could become really tough if it will be humid out there", concluded Marcel, who'll team up with Bob Jungels, Yves Lampaert, Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra and Julien Vermote for tomorrow's TTT.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele