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Marcel Kittel out of Tour de France

In news that was expected, Giant-Alpecin revealed on Thursday that Marcel Kittel he would not be taking part in the 2015 Tour de France due to illness. Kittel himself was not too happy about the news.

German sprinter Marcel Kittel will not take part in the Tour de France after failing to fully recover from a virus, his Giant-Alpecin team said on Thursday.

"The team decided that Kittel's basic fitness is still not sufficient to compete in the Tour de France," the Dutch team said in a statement as they unveiled their nine-man squad for the race which will run from July 4 to 26.

Kittel released his own, lengthy statement on Facebook, in which the 27-year-old said not being nominated was "by far the toughest period in his career."

"I am very disappointed because I've done everything possible in recent weeks to be fit... Right now, I don't know what will be able to compensate for this disappointment."

Kittel added that his exclusion was even more frustrating because German television company ARD would be showing the Tour.

Giant-Alpecin will be led by one-day classic specialist German John Degenkolb, who won two of the season's most prestigious races, Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix. The Tour de France runs from July 4-26.

jh/apc (Reuters)

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