25 Riders to Watch in 2014 – Esteban Chaves

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Esteban Chaves

3 words can be used to describe this 23 year old Colombian, what a talent!

In 2012, at just 22, he won the GP Camaiore, a stage in the Vuelta a Burgos and was 3rd on GC. He also won the Tour de l’Avenir at just 21!

He looked set to have a brilliant 2013, but a bad crash in February in Trofeo Laigueglia, ended his season. Despite this Orica GreenEDGE were quick to sign him up for 2 years.

He has all the makings of a grand tour winner of the future. If this is the first you’ve heard of him, then keep a close eye!

Here is an interview I did with Esteban:-

After a great 2012, you must have been looking forward to 2013, but disaster struck in February, when you crashed in Trofeo Laigueglia. You suffered many injuries and you didn’t race again this year. How long did it take to recover from your injuries?

As you just said at the beginning of this year ( 2013 ) I was injured, and the accident occurred fairly serious injuries, one being very serious, which I am still recovering and we expected full recovery of this injury in 6 or 7 months.

Did the crash affect your confidence?

I think yes, it is normal after a fall to be afraid then stay back in the group, especially in the rain.

When did you start to ride again?

I started cycling 3 months later, exactly.

You have signed with OricaGreenEDGE for 2 years, how excited are you with a move to the World Tour?

Sure it is exciting! I have dreamed of this since I was 12 years old.

What races are you most excited about riding?

Like most cyclists, the Tour de France.

You could make your debut at a grand tour, which one would you prefer?

This year we have talked with the team to make this debut in the Vuelta Espana. I like it, it suits my abilities and it’s the end of the year, when I hope to have a little more confidence.

What type of climbs, suit you best?

I really like the long climbs but not too steep a slope, around 20 or 25kms at 6-7%.

Some Colombian riders go well in bad weather and some don’t, how do you cope with bad weather?

This is very individual, each rider gets used to it in a different way, the important thing is knowing that you will always find in every race rainy days and bad weather.

Why do you think so many Colombians are doing well just now?

In my opinion, there are many factors. Colombia missed some potential talent, now cycling is again being viewed as a major sport in the country, a team at Professional Continental (Team Colombia ), and the regional support is being a little more than it was in earlier times.

You have just finished your first training camp with Orica, how did it go?

We stayed for 15 days in the first camp, it helped a lot to know colleagues, managers, coache , assistants and group delivery to all. I am very satisfied because as I said before it is a dream that is now a reality.

What races will you be targeting in 2014?

In the first part of the season I go to San Luis, Langkawi , Volta Catalonia , Basque Country and the Ardennes Classic possibly. After this first part we will see as we continue with other goals.

As you are just 23, you will be able to race for the white jersey in races. Will that be a target for you?

I had not thought of this as a goal. I try to win back confidence in the group and grow as a cyclist. In a race, if it get the white jersey, it will be welcome.

What are your goals for 2014?

As I just said, to again be comfortable in the peloton, gain confidence and what comes from that point on will only be profit.


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