Retrospective on the Team's history from 2010 - 2014. 2012: The first Grand Tour

Team News | 15.12.2014

From 2015 on, the team will take another step in its development. While the ambitious spirit remains, the team’s name will change with new naming partners on its side. It’s time to look back how our unique story, to bring amateurs to the Tour de France in only five years, started.


Team NetApp took another huge step forward in the 2012 season, riding its first Grand Tour in only its second year at the Professional Continental level.  Not only did the team shine in its debut in the Giro d’Italia, but became a regular site on the podium during the season, in both one-day and stage races. “The best Team NetApp ever”, as team manager Ralph Denk put it, proved that they had developed into a team of capable challengers.

The team put on a spirited campaign in early January to secure the much-desired wildcard invitation to the Giro d’Italia, and its efforts paid off, when the Giro organizers announced it’s decision on January 10.

The Giro was the highlight of the year, but not the sole focus of attention. For the first time, the team won a team time trial, at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali. Jan Barta won the closing individual time trial, giving him the overall title – the team’s first tour victory. And Bartosz Huzarski was right behind him in second place, giving the team the two top steps of the podium.

Barta went on to win Rund um Köln, and Daniel Schorn made the podium at the Hel van het Mergelland. The team again participated in the Spring Classics, with an invitation not only to Paris-Roubaix but also the Tour of Flanders.

But soon all eyes turned toward Herning, Denmark, the starting point of the 2012 Giro. Bad news hit the team before the start, when Leo König had to withdraw from the squad with back problems, postponing the start of what was to be a successful Grand Tour career.

The Giro started smoothly, with stage top ten finishes and appearances in break groups.  The breakthrough came when the race finally returned to its Italian homeland. Bartosz Huzarski conquered the closing climb in the historic city of Assisi, finishing second, and only two seconds behind the stage winner. He topped off a strong team performance with a strong individual performance to prove that the little German team deserved to compete at the highest level.

“This year was amazing for the whole team, as we took our first real big step to the highest level of cycling. Especially at the Italian races, we showed that we are a good and professional team. We are a small team but not in the shadow of ProTour teams. For myself it was an awesome season, competing in the Giro d'Italia with a podium spot, with great teamwork during the whole season and with great form. I wish every year was like this!” states Bartosz Huzarski looking back in time.

Barta continued his impressive season by nearly winning the 14th stage. With the race heading into the high mountains for the first time, he joined the day’s escape group before taking off on a solo venture, in the end finishing in the same time as the stage winner.

The team didn’t let up after its successful Grand Tour debut. König came back from his injury to finish third overall in the Tour of Utah and to win a stage at the Tour of Britain. Andre Schulze added three wins to the team’s total, with Bartosz Huzarski and Matthias Brändle chipping in one each.

In the end, the team could look back on 11 victories, a vast improvement on the previous year.

Team NetApp 2012:
Jan Barta, Jerome Baugnies, Cesare Benedetti, Matthias Brändle, Steve Cozza, Andreas Dietziker, Markus Eichler, Reto Hollenstein, Bartosz Huzarski, Grischa Janorschke, Blaz Jarc, Leopold König, Andreas Schillinger, Daniel Schorn, Andre Schulze, Michael Schwarzmann, Timon Seubert, and Marcel Wyss.

Review 2010Click here

Review 2011Click here

Review 2013: Click here

Review 2014Click here