Team NetApp was more than pleased with its performance in the Giro d'Italia, the first grand tour for the Professional Continental team. It ended up with two stage second places, and a total of eight top ten finishes. The team was also active in breakaway groups.
“The team far exceeded the team management’s expectations. Our goal was to come in among the top ten in at least one stage. And now we have stood on the podium twice,” said team manager Ralph Denk on the team's website.
“The teamwork could not have been better and each individual rider had his own taste of success. As a ProContinental Team, the Giro d’Italia posed a huge challenge for us athletically and logistically, which our riders and employees mastered with flying colors.”
The team had hoped for overall ranking possibilities from Leopold König, but the Czech climber was unable to start the race due to back problems. Without him in the line-up, “we therefore concentrated on individual stages. The team was out in front and attacked so often so that we were able to hold our own against the big teams. The two second places for Bartosz Huzarski and Jan Barta in the 10th and 14th stages were the well-earned reward for the team.”
Two NetApp riders had to abandon along the way. Reto Hollenstein left with a broken collarbone from a crash in the13th stage, and Timon Seubert left with fever during the penultimate stage. “So we reached Milan with seven riders. It was the first three-week stage race for most, and I am very proud that they fought so hard through the final very difficult mountain stages,” said Denk.