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Marcel Kittel takes his first ride on a Specialized bike ahead of switch to Etixx-Quick Step in 2016

Top sprinter takes his first spin on a Specialized ahead of racing for Etixx-Quick Step in 2016

We reported last month on the news that top sprinter Marcel Kittel had signed a two-year deal with Etixx-Quick Step for the 2016 season. This means a change of bike and equipment for the German, swapping from Giant to Specialized.

- Marcel Kittel signs for Etixx-Quick Step

And it looks like he has been getting familiar with a Specialized bike ahead of the 1st January when his contract properly starts. He posted a photo of a very brightly painted Crux cyclocross bike, with hydraulic disc brakes, on Instagram yesterday.

This babe likes it very pink & dirty. #autumnvibes #greatride #crux

A photo posted by Marcel Kittel (@marcelkittel) on

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It’s not uncommon for professional road racing cyclists to take to cyclocross and mountain bikes through the winter. It provides a change from grinding out the miles on the road and is good for bike handling skills and a good all round workout.

The pink paint job doesn’t appear to belong to a current 2016 Crux, so we’ll presume it’s a custom painted bike specially prepared for Kittel. It looks well appointed, with Roval carbon fibre wheels, Dura-Ace Di2 and an FSA carbon fibre chainset.

- Review: Specialized Crux Elite X1

The choice of disc brakes over traditional cantilever brakes has been taken out of his hands though, Specialized only offers the Crux with disc brakes in 2016, deciding that is clearly the way the cyclocross market, and demand, is going.

We spotted Team Sky’s Ben Swift also taking to disc brakes earlier this week, using Pinarello’s new Dogma F8 Disc on his first training ride of the off-season.

- Ben Swift gets back to training, on a disc-equipped Pinarello

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

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