Team NetApp – Endura aims for the Tour de France in 2014
The highest ranked German pro cycling team is heading into the new season with its sights set high. With a squad that comprises the guarantors of success from last year as well as renowned reinforcements, in its fifth year Team NetApp – Endura is aiming to take part in the Tour de France.
“The Tour de France is the target we have definitively set for ourselves. With our successes at the Vuelta a España, we showed just what potential this team has. Year by year we have set ourselves ever higher targets and have always backed this up with results. Consequently, we should now strive to participate in the biggest race of the year”, says Ralph Denk, Team Manager of Team NetApp – Endura.
This would represent the first time since 2010 that a German team has been at the start of the most important event in the cycling calendar. “Our story is unique. Within just a few years we have managed to develop riders from amateur level to a point where they guarantee success in the biggest races. The fact that all our top performers choose to continue riding for us in spite of offers to join the WorldTour speaks for itself. This continuity is crucial in giving us the self-belief to participate in the Tour”, Denk goes on to say.
For the best tour riders in the team, Tirreno – Adriatico should be the highlight of the spring. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be there last year. With the individual and team time trials as well as the mountain top finish in the ski resort of Cittareale, Tirreno – Adriatico is my kind of race. With this team behind me, I believe I can ride into the Top 10 and perhaps shake things up nice and early in the season”, says Leo Koenig, stage winner at the Vuelta a España in 2013.
“Tirreno – Adriatico would be our tour highlight of the spring. Last year we performed well there. We put up a real fight for the KOM jersey, we were the best wildcard team in both time trials and at the same time we had two riders in the GC’s Top 25. But we still have the potential to do better and that’s what we want to prove this year. I am confident that the organizers will positively assess the quality of our team. We are hoping for a wildcard”, says Ralph Denk, revealing his optimism.
The 2014 season offers the team an attractive and demanding race calendar. “We will get started with racing at the beginning of February, and the classics specialists can look forward to a packed program in the spring. I hope that we will race in three of the Monuments and that we can add another new classic from the WorldTour to our calendar”, says Ralph Denk. The team will announce further details over the coming weeks.