October 5, 2015 / 10:57 AM / in 2 years

German Kittel joins Etixx-Quick Step

PARIS (Reuters) - German sprinter Marcel Kittel is joining the Belgian team Etixx-Quick Step for the 2016 and 2017 seasons after being released from his Giant-Alpecin contract.

Giant-Shimano team rider Marcel Kittel of Germany gives a thumbs-up before the Tour de France Saitama Criterium cycling race in Saitama, north of Tokyo October 25, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

“We are thrilled about the arrival of Marcel,” team manager Patrick Lefevere said in a statement on Monday.

“He has shown incredible pure speed which makes him one of the best sprinters in the history of the sport. As a team we will do our best to put him in the right condition, building a group of riders around him.”

Kittel’s move was made possible after another top sprinter, Mark Cavendish of Britain, left to join African team MTN-Qhubeka who will be renamed Dimension Data next season.

The 27-year-old Kittel has eight Tour de France stage wins to his name. He missed most of this season because of a virus.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Tony Jimenez

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