Bartosz Huzarski comes within metres of Team NetApp’s biggest ever victory
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bartosz Huzarski comes within metres of Team NetApp’s biggest ever victory

by Ben Atkins at 1:44 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Polish veteran takes second in Giro’s Assisi stage for surprise wildcard team

bartosz huzarskiTeam NetApp’s Bartosz Huzarski was a surprise second place, behind Katusha’s stage winner Joaquim Rodríguez, at the hilltop finish of the tenth stage of the Giro d’Italia in the Mediaeval city of Assisi. The Polish veteran, riding only his second Giro, was one of only two riders able to follow the attack from Rabobank’s Tom-Jelte Slagter on the steep, narrow cobbled street, and was the only one to get close to Rodríguez as he counterattacked.

“To be honest, I had a bit of respect for the last climb,” said Huzarski. “I was among the first 30 riders going into it, and then I fought my way up one rider at a time. Then I gave it all I had during the last 800 meters. I never expected to get such a result here. It's simply unbelievable!”

Team NetApp’s invitation to the Giro d’Italia was a surprise, and somewhat controversial, move by race organiser RCS Sport. The German Professional Continental outfit only rose to that second division status in 2011, but was preferred to a number of higher profile squads; not least the Acqua & Sapone team of 2000 champion and last year’s mountains jersey winner, Stefano Garzelli.

The German team has done its best to justify that inclusion each day, with Reto Hollenstein among the most aggressive attackers so far, and a variety of its riders making the top ten of most stages. Today’s second place for Huzarski came close to giving the team its biggest ever victory, and has bettered the performances so far of many of the big ProTeams in the race.

So far this season, the team’s only victories had come in the Settimana Coppi e Bartali - in the team time trial, and through Czech rouleur Jan Barta - and the Rund um Koln, where Barta escaped to win alone. While they have appeared in many of the biggest races of the year so far, they have not looked like taking such a huge result, until today.

“Bartosz had an outstanding race today; we're all thrilled,” said directeur sportif Enrico Poitschke. “The team did a great job setting him up, and he crowned that performance with a spot on the podium. We showed that we're also good for a big surprise in the second week of the Giro!”

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