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German Professional Continental team looks to its first grand tour
Team NetApp is going to the Giro d'Italia this year “Against all Odds” -- which is also the name of its new video series describing its preparations for its first grand tour. Cyclingnews will follow the small German team as its prepares for the challenge.
The Professional Continental team surprised many when it was awarded a wildcard invitation to this year's Giro. Race organiser Michele Acquarone said that he made the decision based on the team's successful marketing, which he said “can give the Giro a big boost in terms of promotion and communication on the German market and elsewhere. The real gamble is on a sporting level – will NetApp succeed in making a good impression in as tough and demanding a race as the Giro.”
The team is doing its best to achieve and maintain a high sporting level. There was a large turnover in riders, with about the half the team being replaced. It recently suffered the loss of Steven Cozza, who resigned because of health problems, but also announced the signing of Marcel Wyss, who has twice ridden the Giro.
A grand tour will be new ground for most of the riders, though, but as the video points out: “They are unknown ... they are dedicated ... they are brave.”