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German based team also targeting wildcard for Tirreno-Adriatico and other World Tour classics.

Photo: Sirotti

BORA-HANSGROHE

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LEOPOLD KÖNIG

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09.01.2014 @ 11:54 Posted by Matt Shu

NetApp-Endura team has high hopes for its new season. Especially considering the solid form Leopold Konig showed in Vuelta a Espana 2013. Now the German-based team is targeting a Tour wildcard, as well as a Tirreno-Adriatico wildcard, the team announces.

 

The wildcard situation looks good for the German team as Europcar got promoted to World Tour and Euskatel-Euskadi, Vacansoleil, Sojasun all disbanded, leaving three spots open. If the application is granted, it will mark the first time that NetApp-Endura team races the Tour de France. Also, it will be the first time that a German team attends the Tour for 4 years. "The Tour de France is the target we have definitively set for ourselves. With our successes at the Vuelta a Espana, 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.

 

Leopold Konig, a talented Czech climber, will probably be the team captain in Tour. He missed 2012 Giro d'Italia due to injury, nonetheless Konig displayed good form in his grand tour debut, 2013 Vuelta, finished 9th overall and took home a stage as well. Aside from Tour, the Tirreno-Adriatico race is the one that he's looking for. "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 Konig.

 

Overall, with the reduced number of teams in the World Tour and Pro Continental peloton, the team will look for more opportunities in the World Tour race. "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.

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