Team NetApp has unusual distinction as top ranked German pro team
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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Team NetApp has unusual distinction as top ranked German pro team

by Conal Andrews at 1:57 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Only Pro Continental squad from country, no ProTour teams in 2011

Team NetAppGiven the country’s history and the fact that it has had several ProTour teams in recent years, it may be hard to believe that Germany’s will have no teams in the top division next year, and just one in the Pro Continental ranks.

Team NetApp’s position as the sole German team in that division comes after the team picked up six wins and 30 top ten placings in 2010, making its debut on the UCI Europe Tour.

It was on the list of 23 teams confirmed yesterday as gaining the second-division UCI licence for next season, with the Australian Pegasus Sports squad having one last chance to join them after the final deadline of December 15th.

“We are happy that UCI has decided positively on our application and that Team NetApp can show itself in the second cycling league next year,” said team manager Ralph Denk. “The UCI has accepted our plans in all aspects. With the changed licence conditions as to Pro and Pro Continental Teams, the UCI has examined us hard as a new team. Our team will face heavy competition next year.”

Team Milram was on the list of UCI ProTour teams for the 2010 season, being the last German squad left in the top echelon of the sport after Gerolsteiner stopped in 2008.

Milram tried to secure a replacement sponsor but team manager Gerry Van Gerwen eventually had to admit defeat, meaning that Germany will not have any teams at the ProTeam level.

Team NetApp is the sole German squad in the next division, underlining the changes that have taken place in recent years.

The team is determined to do as well as possible in 2011. It will have its launch on January 11th at the NetApp HQ in Amsterdam/Schiphol.

Denk believes the first season was better than expected, and plans to keep building. “We started as ‘newcomer of the year’, so that [the results] was not to be expected. It was hard work to begin a professional team right from scratch. We can be proud of our first season. With this we have filled with life our demand of climbing into the top within such a short time, and, therefore, earned this promotion,” he stated.

Team Milram’s big riders have headed elsewhere, with Linus Gerdemann and Fabian Wegmann going to the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project and former world under 23 champion Gerald Ciolek moving to Quick Step.

Team NetApp is left flying the flag for German sport, and get the new season underway at the Mallorca Challenge and the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol.


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