Chaves in the mix at the Giro dell’Emilia

Sat 5 Oct 2019

Former race winner Esteban Chaves took 14th at Giro dell’Emilia after going on the attack on the last lap around the decisive San Luca climb.

The Colombian jumped across a gap on the descent ahead of the final rise up towards the finish, but couldn’t hold on as the attacks began to fly, eventually crossing the line just outside of the top-10.

Big Gap

A three-rider breakaway quickly established itself as the peloton headed out of Bologna and the trio soon moved clear of the pack by more than 10-minutes. They enjoyed their sizable advantage as the race passed over the first two-categorised climbs of the day with the bunch happy with the situation.|

The pack knew that the five ascents of the steep San Luca climb would likely spell the end of the breakaway and as the ramp approached for the first time, the pace increased. Australian Damien Howson was tasked with dragging teammate Jack Haig into position as the fight for position began.

The first time up the narrow climb saw the break reduced to just one rider, while a small group clipped off the front of the peloton and edged clear down the descent. Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay followed the seven-rider move as he kept an eye on things for his Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates.

San Luca Decides

Gramy and the rest of the group were closed down on the second ascent as counter attacks began to roll. Two riders then gave the bunch the slip and the duo remained away over the third passage.

The pair hit the foot of the climb for the penultimate time with a slender advantage of 15-seconds and their time out front was over as the favourites made their move. A select group formed over the top of the climb with Chaves initially losing contact before getting back on down the descent.

The Colombian then bridged across to a leading trio with fellow countryman Sergio Higuita (EF Education First) and quintet reached the final ascent in front. However, the pack were closing in and as the favourites began to attack, Chaves found himself distance, eventually holding on for 14th behind winner Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma).

Esteban Chaves:
“I got in that group on the last lap because the legs were not super good so I played my card. But unfortunately Ineos closed the gap and that was my shot of the day.

“I tried to put myself in top-10 but it wasn't possible, it is what it is. The team worked really well, we understood each other and that’s a good sign for the week coming up and I hope find a better legs at the end of the week.”

Dave McPartland (Sports Director):
“It wasn’t planned [for Chaves to attack], but we had three guys there to get a result. Jack had a mistimed mechanical and Mikel [Nieve] wasn’t on a super one, so Esteban tried something for himself. It was just one of those decisions you make on the road on the fly.”

“It was a good day overall, we didn’t come away with the win or anything, but the way the guys road was excellent. We had everything covered coming into the final with numbers, so it’s a good sign for the week coming up with Milano-Torini and Lomardia.”

Giro dell’Emilia 2019 Results:
1. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 5:08:08
2. Michael Woods (EF Education First) +0:14
14. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:45

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.