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Cycling - Kittel terminates Katusha contract, takes break from sport

Cycling - Kittel terminates Katusha contract, takes break from sport
FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - The 108.5-km Stage 11 from Albertville to La Rosiere Espace San Bernardo - July 18, 2018 - Katusha Alpecin rider Marcel Kittel of Germany finishes. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe   -   Copyright  STEPHANE MAHE(Reuters)
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BOLOGNA, Italy (Reuters) – German sprint specialist Marcel Kittel has terminated his contract with Team Katusha by mutual agreement to take a break from cycling, the rider and the team announced on Thursday.

The 30-year-old, who has 19 grand tour stage wins to his name, including 14 on the Tour de France, joined the outfit last year but never managed to reproduce the form that made him one of the world’s best sprinters.

“At this moment, I am not able to train and race at the highest level,” Kittel said in a statement.

“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.”

Kittel’s last significant victory came last year in the sixth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico week long race while his last win on the Tour came in 2017.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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