Chaves aims high for this year's Giro d'ItaliaThu 18 Feb 2016
After a breakthrough 2015 season Esteban Chaves aims to reinforce his credentials as a genuine general classification contender when he lines up for the Giro d'Italia in May.
After a stage victory in the team time trial at the Giro d’Italia in May, the Colombian rider developed a taste for Grand Tour podiums and went on to take two individual stage victories and fifth overall at the Vuelta a Espana, followed by the victory on stage three and subsequent overall victory at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour.
The 26-year-old lit up the climbs at the Vuelta with numerous attacks and won the hearts of fans and the respect of his rivals.
Coming back from a career threatening injury, Chaves made huge inroads in 2014, his first full pro season, winning stages in the Tour de Suisse and at the Tour of California.
One of the biggest objectives for the 2016 season will be the Giro d’Italia in May. Having an experienced team around him and the freedom to stage a serious assault on the general classification looks to be a challenge well met by Chaves.
"I'm really looking forward to doing the Giro d'Italia this year and it's a really important objective for me and the team," he said. "I hope to be able to race at a really good level and we are targeting a result in the GC."
"I really love racing in Italy and the Giro is always something very special. We're all looking forward to continue ORICA-GreenEDGE's great experiences at this amazing race."
Spending six days in the red leader's jersey at the 2015 Vuelta has given Chaves invaluable experience as a team leader and as a serious general classification contender for future Grand Tours and the smaller week-long stage races.
“Esteban is rapidly growing into a real GC contender and for every big race he does, he adds a lot of experience," sports director Matthew White said. "We saw him do a fantastic Vuelta last year and this year he’ll be our protected leader in the Giro."
"He still has a lot of development potential in the Grand Tours, but he’s definitely ready to take another big step towards the GC.
"The Giro is a race that means a lot to us as a team and with Esteban in top shape, we’ll have a strong card to play over the course of three hard weeks."
ORICA-GreenEDGE are no strangers to success at the Giro, winning three stages of the 2014 race including the opening team trial stage and the retention of the pink jersey going into stage three. In 2015 the team again won the opening team time trial and went on to keep the pink jersey for four days with another stage win by Michael Matthews on the third stage and three more podium finishes by the team.