Team NetApp – Endura heads into its first “Tour de France” with self confidence

Team News | 03.07.2014

A total of 3,565 kilometers and 21 stages await Team NetApp – Endura as they head into their very first Tour de France. The race kicks off this coming Saturday with a sprinters’ stage in Leeds. After three weeks spent negotiating the notorious cobblestone sections of Paris-Robaix, climbing the low-level Vosges Mountains, and crossing passes in the Alps and Pyrenees, the riders will reach the finish line in Paris on the Champs-Élysées.

“Even the first week will be very crucial. I can’t recall such a difficult beginning in recent years. So an extreme level of concentration will be required right from the start. Of course, we’re hoping that Leo won’t lose any time during the first five days. However, those stages also offer a good opportunity for us, and that’s why we’ll race very aggressively in the first week,” says Poitschke, Team NetApp – Endura’s Sport Director, looking ahead to the team’s debut at the Tour de France.

The first three stages of the 101st Tour de France will be held in Great Britain, the home of the two most recent Tour winners. It will most likely be an opportunity for sprinters and classics riders, with the third stage from Cambridge to London representing an initial highlight. Another big attraction for spectators will be the fifth stage, which will be held on some of the notorious cobblestone sections of the Paris-Roubaix spring classic race. The first true mountain stage of the Tour will be the 10th stage, which will cover 161.5 kilometers from Mulhouse through the Vosges Mountains before finishing with a climb up the 1,035-meter Planche des Belles Filles.

“The second week will be in the mountains and that’s where Leo’s form will be demonstrated. We’ve configured the team in such a way that Leo will get all the help that he needs. It will be there, at the latest, that we will try to claim a stage win. During the third week, the outcome of the Tour will be decided during the difficult mountain stages and the time trial. Although our riders have some experience with three-week tours, none of them have competed in the Tour de France before. And the Tour is always something special. That’s why I’m hoping that all of them will stay healthy and that we’ll be able to finish in Paris with as many riders as possible,” Poitschke adds.

After a rest day and two transfer stages, the Tour will head into the Alps. There, the group of favorites will be narrowed down significantly after the mountain finish in Chamrousse and the mountain stage from Grenoble to Risoul via the Col d’Izoard.

The third Tour de France week begins with a rest day. The longest stage of this year’s Tour, which covers 237.5 kilometers from Carcassonne to the Pyrenees, will be held the following day. After that, the climbers will have a last chance to extend their lead with mountain finishes in Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet and Hautacam. And they will definitely need that opportunity because the next-to-last stage is an obstacle-strewn 54-kilometer time trial from Bergerac to Périgueux. Finally, the Tour de France will end, as it does every year, with a lap of honor through the French capital. Victory on the final day will be contested by those sprinters who have fared best over the 15 kilometers of cobblestone and the five mountain finishes along the route from Leeds to Paris.

Line-up: Jan Barta, David, de la Cruz, Zak Dempster, Bartosz Huzarski, Leo König, Tiago Machado, Jose Mendes, Andreas Schillinger, Paul Voß

Results of the latest stage Tour de France
Kristoff, Alexander
Sagan, Peter
Démare, Arnaud
König, Leopold
Voss, Paul
Bárta, Jan
Dempster, Zakkari
Schillinger, Andreas
Huzarski, Bartosz
Mendes, José
Machado, Tiago
de la Cruz Melgarejo, David