Chaves on track following Catalunya queen stageThu 26 Mar 2015
Colombian Esteban Chaves has demonstrated he is on track for his 2015 goals with a solid 14th place on the queen stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya today.
The 2014 Tour de Suisse and Tour of California stage winner finished 30seconds behind stage winner Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing) to move into 14th overall, one-minute 13seconds in arrears of new race leader Bart De Clercq (Lotto Soudal)
Sport director Dave McPartland said the ride was a good indication of Chaves’ early season form and a pleasing progression from twelve months earlier.
“Considering the guys that are racing, Esteban did a really good job today,” McPartland said. “Today was a really good measuring tool to see where he is at compared to some of the best in the world.”
“Fourteenth overall is very respectable. If you compare it to this time last year he was not making the front group. There would be 20 guys and he was not in it but this year, he is in it and he is not far off so it shows to us he has made great progression in the twelve months.
“When it was steady he said he felt quite comfortable, but when the big attacks can’t he has trouble following so that’s some great feedback from him and something we can work on.”
Five riders created the initial move of the day from the start of the 188km stage but the queen stage was brutal with three category one and a 21km Hors Categorie climb on the journey to La Molina for a shorter uphill finish.
Just Tom Danielson (Cannondale-Garmin) and Riccardo Zoidi (Trek Factory Racing) remained at the top of the day’s biggest climb, the duo holding an advantage of one minute to the chase.
As the attacks began on the final ascent to the finish line, the duo’s hopes were done and Chaves lost touch. It was the move of Van Garderen with four kilometres to go that proved successful.