Esteban Chaves: “This year we learnt a lot and now I am really hungry for next year.”

Fri 15 Dec 2017

Two-time Grand Tour podium-placer Esteban Chaves sets his sights on general classification success in 2018 as he returns to the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

After making his Tour de France debut this season, the Colombian rider is looking forward heading back to Italy for the challenging parcours of the 101st edition of the Giro d’Italia.

“Always the Giro is one race I like a lot and I want to do,” Chaves explained. “I love racing in Italy, Italy gave me the hardest moments in my career but also the most beautiful ones, so I am happy to go back to Italy to race.”

“There’s just 44kilometres of time trialling and this was one of the reasons for the team’s choice and my choice to do the Giro d’Italia. 

“It is tricky, the second time trial is 34kilometres, but it is flat and really fast, I know the area and the route well. I know this will be tricky for me but the third week is unbelievably hard and also the stages in the beginning. 

“It is not just a one-day race and there is always something in the Giro and this is why I think it is one of the more beautiful races.”

The Colombian rider established himself as a top contender in three-week grand tours after he finished second in the Giro d’Italia and third in the Vuelta a Espana in 2016 and after acknowledging a difficult 2017 season, Chaves is motivated to return to the podium in 2018.

“This year we learnt a lot,” Chaves continued. “In 2016 everything was good and exciting and when you look at this year, it was really tough with the injury and the difficult moment during the Tour and from this you learn a lot more.”

“You keep the feet on the ground and start analysing everything. Myself and all of the team are really hungry now for next season.”

ORICA-SCOTT, to be known as Michelton-Scott in 2018, believe the parcours for the 2018 Giro d’Italia will compliment Chaves’ strengths.

“With a 10kilometre prologue in Jerusalem and then a 34kilometre individual time trial, this is really good for Chaves,” said sport director Matt White. “I don’t think he will lose too much time in 10kilometres prologue so then there’s only 34kilometres where he really needs to defend and that’s a good number for us to work with.”

“There’s some really hard stages next year, stage 18 and 19 in particular. The best situation for us would maybe be to have some more, really high altitude Dolomite stages, as Esteban is really good with anything over 2000metres, but we can still be really confident and motivated after seeing the hard parcours.”

Photo courtesy of TDWsport