Retrospective on the Team's history from 2010 - 2014. 2013: A new name

Team News | 22.12.2014

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.


The new season brought a new name, a new sponsor and many new riders to the team, as it became NetApp-Endura. NetApp extended its sponsorship for another two years, and the cycle-clothing producer Endura came aboard.

More and more invitations to prestigious races rolled in, including the season opener Tour of Qatar and Oman, the premiere at Criterium du Dauphine and Amstel Gold Race. The team was especially pleased with its first-time participation in races like the Tours of Qatar and Oman – put on by Tour de France organizer ASO.

The season’s first victory came in March at the Ronde van Drenthe, and it was spectacular. On a dark, dreary and wet day, team newcomer Alex Wetterhall soloed in to take the win, his first ever. But what made the sensation complete was that teammates Markus Eichler and Andreas Schillinger finished second and third – giving NetApp-Endura the whole podium.

The team’s stated goal was to start in another Grand Tour, and in early May received the welcome invitation to the Vuelta a Espana. “I am confident that we will justify the invitation to the Vuelta with a great performance," team manager Ralph Denk said at the time, words which were to prove prophetic.

Jan Barta must have been inspired by the news, as he went on the next day to win the time trial at the Polish race Szlakiem Grodow Piastowskich, and holding on to take the overall title.

This year again the team traveled halfway across the world to the Tour of California, and it was time for Leo König to explode into the season. He won the Queen Stage, staying with the favorites on the final climb before taking off solo with 500 meters to go. Once started, there was no stopping König. In mid-July he won the Queen Stage of his homeland Czech Cycling Tour, going on to claim the stage race title for the second time in his career.

The other riders continued to do their part as well. Barta had picked up both national road race and time trial national titles. Blaz Jarc won the GP Stad Zottegem, and Bartosz Huzarski took home the Most Aggressive Rider title from the Tour of Poland, having also worn the KOM jersey during the race.

The team set off to the Vuelta with “high ambitions”, including the not-so-modest goal of winning a stage. All the team’s hopes were pinned on König, and he started out well, just missing the podium after a late attack on the second stage.

Only days later König brought in the most-important and biggest win ever for both the team and himself. Again, he stayed with the favorites up the final climb, taking off with two kilometers to go and winning by the narrow margin of one second. It moved him up to fifth overall.

It was a decisive moment for König. “It had been a turbulent year, with an injury early in the season but I recovered quite well and enjoyed the most emotional win of my career on Mt. Diablo,” he said. “My first ever Grand Tour was marked with a lot of expectations, and my team and I were quite ambitious, with an eye on winning a stage. When this ambitious plan worked out after amazing teamwork, I would say that was the most important moment in my career so far.”

A cold dropped him from the top ten, but he recovered quickly and moved back up the ranks. Huzarski reminded everyone that there was another climber on the team, finishing third on the difficult 16th stage atop Sallent de Gallego.

König proved himself as a definite Grand Tour rider, finishing his first Grand Tour ever ninth overall, to the astonishment of many onlookers but to the team’s great satisfaction.

Team NetApp - Endura 2013:
Jan Barta, Cesare Benedetti, Iker Camano, David De La Cruz, Zak Dempster, Russell Downing, Markus Eichler, Bartosz Huzarski, Blaz Jarc, Roger Kluge, Leo König, Ralf Matzka, Jonathan McEvoy, Jose Mendes, Erick Roswell, Andreas Schillinger, Daniel Schorn, Michael Schwarzmann, Scott Thwaites, Paul Voss, and Alexander Wetterhall    

Review 2010Click here

Review 2011Click here

Review 2012: Click here

Review 2014Click here