Denk pleased with NetApp’s performance in Giro d’Italia
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Denk pleased with NetApp’s performance in Giro d’Italia

by VeloNation Press at 5:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Team goes close to victories on two stages

NetAppAlthough it didn’t take a stage win, unlike the other three wildcard teams, the NetApp squad has expressed satisfaction with its display in its first Grand Tour, feeling that it more than met its goals in the Giro d’Italia.

“The team far exceeded the team management’s expectations,” said its manager Ralph Denk. “Our goal was to come in among the top ten in at least one stage, and now we have stood on the podium twice. The teamwork could not have been better and each individual rider had his own taste of success.”

The team’s first near miss was the second place clocked up by Bartosz Huzarski on stage ten to Assisi. He rode very strongly on the uphill drag to the line in the historic town, being beaten only by eventual race runner-up Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).

The second strong performance was the runner-up slot of Jan Barta on stage fourteen to Cervinia. He, Andrey Amador and Alessandro de Marchi battled it out on the final climb, with the Czech rider showing considerable fighting spirit there. Amador was best in the final sprint to the line, but Barta received praise for the way he rode.

Denk said that the squad punched above its weight. “As a ProContinental Team, the Giro d’Italia posed a huge challenge for us athletically and logistically, which our riders and employees mastered with flying colors.

“It was clear to us from the outset that we wouldn’t be able to achieve much in the overall ranking without Leopold König; we therefore concentrated on individual stages. The team was out in front and attacked so often so that we were able to hold our own against the big teams. The two second places for Bartosz Huzarski and Jan Barta in the 10th and 14th stages were the well-earned reward for the team.”

Seven of the team’s nine riders reached the finish in Milan, with Reto Hollenstein withdrawing due to a fractured collarbone and Timon Seubert being forced to stop with a fever.

Barta and Huzarski were best placed overall in 65th and 70th. Denk sees the Giro as part of the team’s expansion and experience-building, and is satisfied with what was achieved.

“It was the first three-week stage race for most, and I am very proud that they fought so hard through the final very difficult mountain stages.”


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