Chaves cautious about riding Tour de France in 2017

Second at Giro, Colombian lies third in final week of Vuelta a Espana

Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) has said that he remains unsure about whether he will ride the Tour de France in 2017, despite two successful outings at the Vuelta a España and second place overall at the Giro d'Italia this May.

Speaking during his press conference on the second rest day of the Vuelta, where he is lying third overall, Chaves said, "Right now, the thought of doing the Tour isn't something that I'm going crazy about."

Referring to himself in the third person, the Colombian said, "We will have to see what other races are good for me and which ones suit Esteban Chaves the best. A lot will depend which route suits me the best."

Chaves has never ridden the Tour de France, opting for the Giro and Vuelta both in 2015 and 2016. He is currently third overall in in the Vuelta, 3:57 behind his compatriot Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Adam Yates led Orica-BikeExchange at this year's Tour, placing fourth overall and winning the white jersey of best young rider, while his brother Simon is fifth overall at the Vuelta.

"I'm doing well, tired like everybody, but getting some great support from the team. The team spirit we have is very important for me," Chaves said. "It's been a very special year overall. The Vuelta last year showed me what I could do in the Grand Tours and the Giro d'Italia confirmed that, but it's not just me that causes me to get good results, it’s the team as well."

As for the rest of the Vuelta, Chaves argued that the Aitana stage on Saturday was "very similar to the one that [Robert] Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) won and that'll be good for me, too."

The preceding day, Chaves must tackle the 37-kilometre time trial to Calpe, which he acknowledged will play to the strengths of second-placed Chris Froome (Sky). Chaves is currently just 20 seconds down on the Briton in the general classification.

"I went to check out the time trial back in January, it's got a lot of long straightaways that will suit Froome," Chaves said.

"But it's also the third week, and a time trial in the third week is very different to a time trial in the first. I hope I will have the same kind of strength as I showed in [the Vuelta's third week time trial in] Burgos last year."


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