German teams hope to make Professional Continental debut in Spain
Team NetApp will make its debut appearance in the Vuelta a Andalucia in February. The race has announced that it has issued the German team a wildcard invitation for the race, which takes place from February 20 to 24.
NetApp rode as a Continental team in 2010, its first year in existence. It applied for Professional Continental status for the coming year, but the International Cycling Union (UCI) has not yet issued its decision. The team has said its long-term goal is to obtain ProTeam status.
A team spokeswoman confirmed to Cyclingnews that the team will open its season at the Tours of Qatar and Oman, and further hopes to ride the Mallorca Challenge.
According to the Spanish media, team general manager Ralf Denk was very interested in participating in the race, and an agreement was quickly reached allowing the German team to start.
In only its first year on the road, NetApp had five individual victories. It has strengthened itself for 2011 with seven new riders, including American Steven Cozza from Team Garmin-Transitions.
NetApp's planned line-up for Andalucia is Jesus del Nero, Andreas Schillinger, Jan Barta, Dimitri Claeys, Andreas Dietziker, Daniel Schorn and Leopold König.