team announced its lineup
for the 2012 Tour de France today
, with a solid squad built around world-class sprinter Marcel Kitte
l. The 24-year-old German already has seven wins this year
on his Felt F1,
and he’s not shy about his ambitions in his first-ever Tour de France.
“I’m going to France to challenge [Mark] Cavendish,” Kittel told Cyclingnews.com, referring to the current world champion from Great Britain. “I’m looking forward to fighting against him. He is currently the best sprinter in the world.”
Kittel is on a roll after two stage wins at last week’s Ster ZLM Toer in The Netherlands, where he beat Cavendish and André Greipel in sprint stages.
Kittel will be joined in France by some of the teammates who helped him win a stage at last year’s Vuelta a España. Roy Curvers, Koen de Kort
and Tom Veelers
will help form his lead-out squad. He will also benefit from the the work of new team member Patrick Gretsch,
a fellow German.
The team will also include Johannes Fröhlinger, Albert Timmer, Matthieu Sprick and Yann Huguet.
The 2012 Tour de France starts June 30 in Liege, Belgium. The three-week race will finish in Paris on July 22.