Quick-Step Floors team boss Patrick Lefevere has said that he gave Marcel Kittel permission to wear Katusha-Alpecin's 2018 kit at their team presentation in Mallorca on Saturday. The Belgian said that he did it to show the hypocrisy of the current UCI system.
After two years on Lefevere's squad, Kittel decided to move to Katusha-Alpecin for next season after it became clear that he might have to make way for Fernando Gaviria at the Tour de France. Kittel is at his new team's training camp in Mallorca but is still technically under contract with Quick-Step Floors until December 31, due to the way that UCI contracts are done.
Riders moving teams are usually barred from wearing any kit or riding a bike from their new team before the start of the new year. If they break this rule, they can be docked pay by the team they are leaving. In the past, some riders have been banned from even appearing in training camp photos with their new teams, but Lefevere chose to allow Kittel to break with this tradition.
"I authorised him to participate to the @katushacycling photoshoot to prove the hypocrisy of the @uci_cycling system. We @quickstep_team have to pay until December 31," Lefevere wrote on Instagram, captioning a picture of Kittel in the new Katusha-Alpecin team kit.
Kittel was not the only new signing to don the new team jersey. Nathan Haas, who is moving from Dimension Data, and Alex Dowsett, who joins from Movistar, were also on stage at the presentation in the new kit.
Katusha-Alpecin confirmed to Cyclingnews that the teams of all the new signings had allowed the riders to wear it for the team presentation. They will return to their respective Quick-Step Floors, Dimension Data and Movistar kits for the remainder of the training camp. The new additions will officially be able to wear the new team colours come January 1.