Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) enjoyed a breakthrough Tour de France in 2013 as the 25-year-old German sprinter won four stages, more than any rider at this year's edition, plus spent a day in the yellow jersey.
Kittel emerged through the chaos of the opening day, featuring the Orica-GreenEdge bus getting stuck at the finish line, and with his victory on stage 1 he claimed not only the first Tour stage win of his career but also the maillot jaune.
The German sprinter then claimed stage 10, stage 12 and closed out his first complete Tour de France in fine fashion with a victory in Paris - ending Mark Cavendish's four-year run of success on the Champs-Élysées.
Kittel attended the presentation of the 2014 Tour de France route on Wednesday in Paris at the Palais des Congres and had a favourable impression of next year's parcours.
"I like the first half," Kittel told Cyclingnews with a laugh. "The second half is really hard for the sprinters."
"I guess there are maybe five or six opportunities for the sprinters during the whole Tour de France which is quite okay."
While Kittel claimed four stage wins in this year's Tour, he finished well off the pace of Peter Sagan regarding the green jersey classification. The Slovak phenom won his second straight green jersey this year, amassing 409 points, while Kittel placed fourth in the classification with 222 points.
When asked about his green jersey ambitions next year, Kittel was modest in his aspirations.
"I don't want to put any pressure on me," said Kittel. "I'll just concentrate on doing my sprints and we will see how it goes with the green jersey."
In this exclusive interview with Cyclingnews at the Tour presentation in Paris, Kittel weighs in on the 2014 route and his expectations
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