Last year’s winner of the Tour de l’Avenir - the ‘Tour of the Future’ for U23 riders - Johan Chaves (Colombia-Coldeportes) has continued his strong showing in the elite ranks when he won the GP Città di Camaiore on Saturday. Chaves was part of a final five-man group that escaped on the final Monte Pitoro climb before winning the sprint at the end of the 199km race.
"In the final sprint I moved in the wake of Pellizotti, who hit out early. I came out along the barriers and moved ahead. I made a good sprint, but Chernetckii was really close, and I was not sure to have won it right afterwards. But it panned out well," said Chaves at the finish line.
The 22-year-old took the victory ahead of a strong field including Danilo Di Luca (Acqua & Sapone) and Dominic Pozzovivo (Colnago-CF Inox). He relegated Sergey Chernetskiy (Itera-Katusha) and Italian champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) to the lower spots on the podium. It is the young rider’s second win of the season after taking stage 5 at the Vuelta a Burgos.
Colombia-Coldeportes team manager Claudio Corti was elated to get the team’s first one-day race victory. The manner in which Chaves took the victory was also impressive, as he remained calm during the frantic final. His overall victory in l’Avenir last season was just a sample of what this young rider is capable of.
"It was another very good day for us, we are very proud of the excellent display of the team that exceeded the expectations in a very demanding race. Chaves made the difference on the Monte Pitoro, but still saved enough energy to get over Pellizotti and deliver another great win," he said.