Race director says wildcard team must seize opportunities
In the latest edition of Team NetApp's video series - the last before the German Professional Continental team headed to the start of the 2012 Giro d'Italia in Denmark - the squad looks back at the last two weeks of racing prior to its first Grand Tour.
At the Giro del Trentino in Italy, riders faced some extreme weather conditions but were still able to fine-tune their form and show they deserve the wildcard invitation they received for the Giro at the beginning of the year. At an Italian-themed celebration attended by select media representatives as well as Giro d'Italia director Michele Acquarone, team manager Ralph Denk presented each of the nine riders that is now racing the Italian Grand Tour.
Composed mainly of breakaway and medium mountain specialists, the team is clearly looking to ride itself into the limelight and search for the right opportunity to score its first ever Grand Tour success. It was this spirit that Acquarone himself insisted the outfit must adopt if it wants to live up to its high expectations as well as ensuring the desired media attention.
"My advice is just to try, try every day," Acquarone said. "There's a long race in front of them, and every day can be the right day. I hope they will perform well during the Giro, but I also hope that the media - and not just the German media - can find in these new, talented riders somebody to speak about. It's important that they get noticed by the media."
So far, the team has done a good job by having two riders - Timon Seubert and Matthias Brändle - in the top 15 of stage 2, and Reto Hollenstein in the breakaway of the day on stage 3. Now, the race has moved to its homeland of Italy and Team NetApp is "optimistic" that its riders will continue to perform well, possibly delivering a result soon.
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