Team NetApp-Endura is in the running for a wildcard invitation to the Tour de France, and team manager Ralph Denk said it would be the reward for the team's “hard work and continual development.” The Professional Continental team made its grand tour debut last spring in the Giro d'Italia.
Last week the Tour organizer ASO announced that six teams were up for three wildcard invitations to the 100th Tour this year. They are NetApp-Endura, IAM Cycling, Bretagne-Séché, Cofidis, Europcar, and Sojasun.
“Our team stands for a new generation of cyclist,” Denk told Cyclingnews. “We haven't gone this route only in these current difficult times, but have been doing so for four years.
“This young team with clean riders would certainly not go to the Tour de France to win. But we are confident enough to help shape the best cycling race in the world. At the Giro d'Italia last year we proved that we are good for a surprise at a Grand Tour.”
He continued, “I would be very happy if our hard work and continual development would be rewarded. After two years without a German team, our partiipation in the 100th Tour would be something very special for the German fans. The media reports in Germany from the Giro last year showed how much attention a race can generate.”
NetApp merged with the British Continental team Endura Racing for the 2013 season, but has remained a German-based team.