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In this week’s episode of Bobby & Jens, our new VeloNews podcast, German sprint star Marcel Kittel sits down for his first extensive English-language interview since leaving the pro ranks two years ago.
The press-shy Kittel shares some of his proudest memories, from learning to ride from his dad to posting eye-popping speeds as a junior to snatching his first yellow jersey in 2014 at Harrogate.
He also reveals the secrets to his famous mane, saying, “I was blessed with two talents: sprinting and waking up with pretty good hair.”
After enduring some good-natured ribbing from his friend and countryman Voigt, Kittel also relates the emotional challenges of losing the sense of invincibility he enjoyed over four years of remarkable success. “It never really crossed my mind,” he says, “that a difficult season could happen to me. I felt like I would just keep doing what I always did and, and the success would stay with me. But that’s wrong, and I learned that more or less the hard way.”
The full episode includes more insights from Kittel about the pressures of sustaining a high level of performance, plus secrets from his training regiment and humorous admissions about the agony of battling time cutoffs as a sprinter on big mountain stages.
Bobby & Jens is a new podcast from VeloNews starring former pros Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt, and featuring conversations with top athletes, coaches, emerging stars, and other newsmakers from the wide world of cycling. A new episode drops every Friday. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts.
Send your questions and “Shut Up, Legs!” votes to BobbyandJens@VeloNews.com.