Chaves placed third overall at last year’s Vuelta, and will set out as co-leader alongside Adam Yates, while Simon Yates – best young rider at last month’s Tour de France – will also have the freedom to go on the offensive in the mountains.
“We have the best general classification riders we can put together, we have all three of them here, and that is going to be a bit of a challenge,” Orica-Scott directeur sportif Neil Stephens said. “It’s an exciting challenge for us all to focus on, but at the end of the day the team is our leader and all three riders have always fully committed to that.”
A year ago, Orica-Scott launched a two-pronged assault on the Vuelta, with Simon Yates winning a stage and placing sixth overall as his teammate Chaves climbed onto the podium. The team will now seek to combine the interests of three riders with genuine GC aspirations.
“We did it at the Vuelta last year with Simon and Esteban and in the final the race is sorted out on the road. Despite finishing with a top 10 himself, Simon was selfless in his support of our podium finish,” Stephens said. “The aim is a team result in Madrid, who it is, it doesn’t matter.”
Chaves has endured a difficult 2017 campaign. The early part of his season was plagued by a knee injury and in July, his close friend and physiotherapist, Diana Casas, who helped him back from his horrific 2013 injury, was tragically killed in a road accident. Chaves placed 63rd overall in his debut Tour de France last month but struck an optimistic note in its final days. “If I’m on this level now, the only way I can go is better,” the Colombian climber said.
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