Kittel to take a break from cycling after leaving Katusha Alpecin

Marcel Kittel has left Katusha Alpecin to take a break from cycling.

Sprinter Kittel has 19 grand tour stage wins, but the 30-year-old has failed to live up to expectations since joining the Switzerland-based team in 2018.

The most recent of Kittel's Tour de France stage victories came in 2017, and the German has now decided to take an indefinite hiatus from the sport, citing exhaustion.

"In the last two months I have had the feeling of being exhausted. At this moment, I am not able to train and race at the highest level," Kittel said.

"For this reason, I have decided to take a break and take time for myself, think about my goals and make a plan for my future.

"From now on I will put my happiness and joy above everything. I would like to ride and race again in the future and I have to work out a plan to be able to reach this goal."

Katusha's general manager Jose Azevedo added: "It is with sadness that we have agreed with Marcel's request to step away from the team and from racing.

"We understand the situation in which Marcel is and we fully support him in this difficult time. We hope that he will soon get back to racing as the champion he is."

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