Team NetApp was relieved and happy to hear Tuesday afternoon that it would be riding its first grand tour in 2012. The German Professional Continental team received one of four wildcard invitations to the Giro d'Italia.
Team manager Ralph Denk told Cyclingnews that he wasn't surprised that it worked out. “I have believed in it all along. We have been working hard for this for half a year.”
He said that “it was a difficult application process. The standards were very high and the application very comprehensive. I am happy that RCS Sport had the courage to invite a young German team.
“I want to thank them for giving a boost to German cycling.”
Now the work begins. “Tomorrow we start our training camp on Mallorca. We will have our first talks with the riders who come into consideration to ride the Giro, and we will start our planning.”
Once at the Giro in May, the team hopes to “in any case offer attractive cycling. We will go with Leo König as our captain, maybe he can do something in the GC,“ Denk told Cyclingnews.
“And we certainly want to give something back to the organizers, to justify our invitation.”