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Colombian rider looking for answers in the mountains.

Photo: Sirotti






21.03.2016 @ 11:43 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Esteban Chaves will be looking to continue his improvement in the Volta a Catalunya, a race that the Orica-GreenEDGE climbing specialist intends to use as a fine-tuning experience prior to this year’s Giro d’Italia.


“I worked a lot with the team in the winter prior to Alicante and later in South Africa. We chose to begin the season a little late but I feel very good. In March, I raced in France and then at the Tirreno-Adriatico with a good feeling, but to date I have been lacking a real high mountain test that could give me the answers I am looking for. The queen stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico was supposed to provide some answers but we all know what happened. Now I expect answers from Catalonia,” Chaves told Tuttobiciweb on the eve of the race.


Chaves made it clear that the Volta a Catalunya serves primarily as a warm-up race for the Giro.


“The Volta is a special race. As always, I'd love to be in front with the best and ride steadily. Regardless of my GC, I want to have good feelings in my legs, feel good and be able to continue my work without encountering problems on the road leading to the Giro. We have a very strong team with Gerrans, Plaza, Txurruka and Haig.”


Last year Chaves finished fifth in the Vuelta, a result that served as a confidence builder for the Colombian.


“I’ve been talking with sports director Neil Stephens in recent days: that result has given me the confidence to compete for success in a grand tour. And with the work we are doing, I can still improve.”


Chaves’ first major objective of the 2016 season is the Giro d’Italia from May 6-29.


"This year the Giro is my first main objective. I have chosen to ride the Tirreno-Adriatico and Volta a Catalunya because of the routes and the quality of the opposition. Those two races will be the perfect tune-up races for the Giro. After the Volta, I return to Colombia to work, and then I’ll return to Europe to participate in the Giro. And like last year I will also ride the Vuelta a España.”


Later in the year Chaves is also expected to be part of the Colombian road racing team at the Olympics in Rio.


“I’m in the pre-selection and this gives me great moral, even if from here to August there are still many months. I'd like to participate in the Olympic road race, obviously. It would be a dream for me to represent my country. But first I’ll focus on the Giro and then I will know more.”



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