Sprint king Kittel agrees Katusha switch

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Sprinter Marcel Kittel has agreed a two-year deal with Katusha that will see the German switch from Quick-Step Floors from the start of the 2018 season.

The German won five stages at this year's Tour de France and led the points classification before injuring his shoulder and knee on stage 17, forcing him to withdraw.

Kittel described himself then as "inconsolable", but the 29-year-old is now relishing the prospect of a fresh challenge with Katusha, where he will join compatriot Tony Martin.

"I'm really looking forward to a new challenge in new colours," he said in a Katusha statement. "For me, this moment is exciting.

"With this step, I also hope to get new inspiration. I think, I find all the requirements in the team that I need to be strong in the sprint finals. I saw that the sprint train is functioning very well.

"Team Katusha Alpecin has undergone a major change in recent years. I've been watching these changes for a long time and I think it's good.

"That is why I am looking forward to being part of the team and share the direction they are headed.

"Team spirit has always been important to me and for this reason also I've become a pro cyclist."