Chaves confirms no Tour debut until 2017, will target Giro and Vuelta next season
He took two stage wins plus fifth overall in the Vuelta a España plus won a stage and the overall classification in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour.
Now, after the best season of his professional career, Orica-GreenEdge rider Esteban Chaves has outlined the path to what he and his team hope will be an even bigger future.
Speaking to Marca, the Colombian rider confirmed that his season has already been outlined by the team’s sporting director Matt White.
“He wants me to do Giro and Vuelta, and do the Tour with the Yates [brothers]. The overall plan is that. The goal is to do two Grand Tours and be able to aim for both. That would be ideal. The program will be confirmed in the first team training camp in Spain in January.”
As regards the Tour, he’s got an idea when he will first line out there.
“If things continue like this, I will debut the following year, in 2017,” he explained. “It would mean debuting at 27 years of age. There’s time. It is true that my sporting progression is a little behind because of the year I was stopped [due to injury – ed.]. We will go step by step. I think you can’t go to the Tour to learn, but you have to be ‘armed’ [fully ready].”
Given the progression he made in 2015, he wants to keep his momentum going next season. If all things go to plan, he’ll be able to challenge for the podium in either the Giro d’Italia or the Vuelta a España or, even better, in both.
The route of the latter is yet to be outlined, but he likes what he sees from Italy.
“I like the route a lot, especially because there are not many transfers. Yes we start in the Netherlands and travel to southern Italy but then we just go from there. The Giro has very tough stages, with a lot of accumulated metres [of climbing].
“And I find it interesting that there are stages above 2,500 meters of altitude in May, so it will be very tough because of the cold, maybe snow.
“The time trial in Tuscany is 40 kilometres but there is not a metre of flat and I go well in the uphill time trial.”
Chaves confirmed that he has been working hard with Orica GreenEdge to improve his abilities against the clock and feels that progress has been made.
This will be important, not just in next year’s two Grand Tours, but also further ahead in his career. If he can make further gains there and continue to develop his climbing, he seems to have the attributes needed to emulate compatriots Lucho Herrara and Nairo Quintana and win a Grand Tour.