Chaves confirmed to support Yates at Giro d’Italia following successful return to racing in 2019Tue 2 Apr 2019
After a successful racing period following his extended layoff due to sickness in 2018, Mitchelton-SCOTT confirms the next race for Colombian Esteban Chaves* will be the 2019 Giro d’Italia.
The 2016 runner-up, who will return to the Giro d’Italia to support Mitchelton-SCOTT team leader Simon Yates, won a stage up Mt Etna at last year’s 101st edition before sickness ended his hopes and his 2018 season.
The 29-year-old returned to racing at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in February this season and has since completed the Ruta del Sol, Paris-Nice and Volta Ciclista a Catalunya under the careful watch of the Mitchelton-SCOTT medical team and without the return of the viruses that hampered him last year.
“It will be special like always when I go back to Italy. I have a special relationship with Italy and last year in Rome was one of the toughest days on the bike for me. Last year’s Giro, for me and for the team, had a lot of ups and downs, so to go back there for this race is special and exciting.
“We are a team who always give 100% to each other. We will do the same at the Giro and we are already doing that at the last races with this goal in mind. The expectations are the same as always - enjoy racing and being part of this team, attacking and being aggressive just like we were on the final stage of Catalunya.
“I was super excited to return to racing this year but also nervous and I can't lie, sometimes panicked. What happened last year is something is out of my control. When I was finally back training and racing, somewhere in my head I was worried that it can come back.
“Luckily, I have this team and people around me who support me 100% and we did everything in our control for my health.
“Now I feel much better than the start. Before, everything was with a lot of question marks, but now I can see and I have experienced what is possible. Every day of racing we took a step forward. I'm on the good path to arrive at the best level I can without health problems.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“The most important thing for Esteban for the early season was to get that race load. He has almost been on a program of one week on, one week off for the last eight weeks and he is showing no signs on those races having a negative effect on him, which is a really great sign and means we can look forward to the Giro.
“The other important aspect was confidence. When you sit out on the sidelines for so long you do lose your mojo and you lose the feeling of racing in the bunch. Riders take a lot of risks in their day-to-day racing and when you’re only training or riding your bike it’s a very different feeling and different for your confidence.
“He has experienced lots of different circumstances, weather conditions and race situations here in Europe and that is only going to put him in a good stead for the next six weeks.
“From here, Esteban will run a similar template he has in the past. He knows this window, he knows what he needs to do. He is going back to home roads, familiar people and he knows how to prepare for the toughest race of the year for him.”
“Esteban is definitely coming in as a super domestic role. He is a winner as well, but our clear leader for the Giro is Simon Yates and Esteban will be doing whatever he can to aid Simon and our goal of winning the Giro.”
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
* Pending fitness and final team selection