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by Neal Rogers
November 24, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Chaves to start season at Tour Down Under; One Pro Cycling loses sponsor and Pro Continental status; Brajkovic signs with Bahrain Merida; Wanty-Groupe Gobert signs Lieuwe Westra; Astana unveils 2017 jersey and Argon 18 bikes; Sagan eyes Roubaix victory, hints that he could retire in ‘three, four, five, six years’; CyclingTips Podcast: David Walsh on Armstrong, Team Sky, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins’ TUEs; Etixx-QuickStep staff wraps up two-day team building exercises; Video: Trailer for Cyclocross World Cup in Zeven, Germany
Orica-BikeExchange star Esteban Chaves will race in Australia for the first time in 2017. The 26-year-old Colombian will line up at the Tour Down Under (January 14-22) in Adelaide before traveling to Victoria for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (January 29), and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour (February 1-5).
Chaves, who had a breakout 2016 with podium finishes at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana as well as his historic Il Lombardia victory that saw him become the first Colombian to win a Monument, is looking forward to contributing to the team’s Australian campaign.
“These races are super important for Orica-BikeExchange,” Chaves said. “We can only race in Australia for these three races each year, so I am happy to be with them for this. The boys are super motivated to race near their homes, and I am a little bit Australian now, so I am happy for this, too.”
Sport director Matt White said having Chaves in Australia will be a big boost for the team on and off the bike.
“We are excited to bring Esteban to Australia early next year,” White said. “In the right conditions he has the potential to make a serious impact on all three races he will start. We know the Australian fans will love having him Down Under. This is something they have been requesting for a while now, so we are pleased we could fit it into his 2017 program. I’m confident he won’t disappoint.”