Chaves ready for Giro dell'Emilia defence

Orica-Scott backing Colombian with strong climbing squad

Giro dell'Emilia defending champion Esteban Chaves returns to the Italian race in 2017 with a strong Orica-Scott team backing his ambitions. The Colombian hasn't raced since the Vuelta a Espana where he was 11th on the general classification.

The Giro dell'Emilia was also Chaves' first race after the Vuelta last year when he beat Romain Bardet to the victory. For the September 30 race, Adam Yates, Jack Haig, Damien Howson, Roman Kreuziger, Ruben Plaza and Carlos Verona all add climbing power to the Orica-Scott team.

"We can have an open plan with the type of riders we have lining up for this race," sport director Dave McPartland said. "I expected it to be a fairly controlled race with there being 13 WorldTour teams.

"I think we will have numbers left there in the final on this course and then we can play our cards."

Jens Keukeleire rounds out the team and having played a crucial early role in the breakaway last year, the Belgian is likely to be used again before the race ramps up.

"It comes down to pure climbers that have really good condition," added McPartland. "Esteban and Adam are of course strong and can ride well on this steep climb, but also Jack Haig has shown his top form recently. It is a super hard one-day race and should be good for us."

The 223km Giro dell'Emilia starts in Bologna and finishes with the challenging finishing loop in San Luca. 

Orica-Scott for Giro dell'Emilia: Esteban Chaves, Jack Haig, Roman Kreuziger, Damien Howson, Jens Keukeleire, Rubén Plaza, Adam Yates and Carlos Verona. 

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