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"I think we are well suited for the mountainous parts of the race and people ought to be watching out for us making a break on the hillier stages. We will keep a visible presence and participate actively,” manager Ralph Denk says

Photo: Team NetApp










19.08.2013 @ 13:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

NetApp-Endura received a wild card for the Vuelta and will line up at their second grand tour later this week. The team has selected an inexperienced team with numerous climbers for the mountainous course as young Leopold König will make finally make his delayed grand tour debut.


NetApp-Endura was disappointed to miss out on wild cards to the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia but the team reached its goal of racing a grand tour for the second season in a row when Vuelta a Espana organizers Unipublic granted them an invitation for their event. Having prepared specifically for their season highlight, the team has now selected its 9-rider roster for the event.


With its 11 uphill finishes, this year's course is extremely difficult and so the German team follows the trend of putting emphasis on climbers when selecting its team. The team's main riders all participated in a recent course recon where Vuelta veteran Inigo Cuesta assisted the team's grand tour rookies in getting familiar with the course.


The team will be led by young Leopold König who was set to make his grand tour debut at the Giro last year but had to forfeit his participation due to illness. He will finally get his chance in the Vuelta and his stage win on the queen stage in the Tour of California, strong ride in the Dauphiné and recent 3rd place on a hard stage in the Tour de Pologne proves that he will be a visible force. He has made a stage win his main target but is likely to also try to obtain a high overall ranking.


He will be supported by climbers David De La Cruz and Jose Mendes who both raced the recent Vuelta a Burgos inside the top 25. While a top GC result may be beyond their capabilities, we can expect to see them on the offensive in the mountains.


The team's grand tour veteran is Iker Camano who will race his 8th three-week race and hopes to shine in the medium mountain stages. That will also be the target for Pole Bartosz Huzarski who rode to an impressive 2nd on the uphill finish in Assisi in last year's Giro.


Jan Barta will be target the individual time trial but the Czech has also proved that he is a very strong breakaway rider, finishing 3rd on a big mountain stage in last year's Giro. Zakkari Dempster and Daniel Schorn are the team's sprinters, the latter racing his 2nd grand tour on the back of last year's Giro.


Paul Voss completes the roster and the German will find plenty of terrain to his liking. The German is fast in an uphill sprint and strong in the medium mountains and so he will be a man to watch on many of the transitional stages.


With a young, inexperienced team, manager Ralph Denk knows that they will play the role as underdogs.


“The Vuelta is the clear highlight of our season," he said. "In line with this, our team comprises a selection of strong and experienced riders. It will only be our second Grand Tour and we are absolute outsiders – but for this very reason the boys are going into it highly motivated. After having made it to the podium at the Giro twice, our aim now is to win a stage."


"I think we are well suited for the mountainous parts of the race and people ought to be watching out for us making a break on the hillier stages. We will keep a visible presence and participate actively."


The Vuelta starts on Saturday with a team time trial in Galicia.


NetApp-Endura for the Vuelta a Espana

Leopold König, David De La Cruz, Jose Mendes, Iker Camano, Bartosz Huzarski, Jan Barta, Daniel Schorn, Zakkari Dempster and Paul Voss



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