Chaves to target Giro d'Italia top five as Yates brothers return to the Tour de France

Orica-GreenEdge lay out GC ambitions for 2016 Grand Tours

After tasting success at the Vuelta a Espana this summer, Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) will target the GC in next year's Giro d'Italia.


The Colombian won two stages, wore the leader's jersey and eventually finished fifth in the Vuelta - Orica's best ever overall result in a Grand Tour – and will look to challenge Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Mikel Landa (Team Sky) in Italy next May.

Orica-GreenEdge have yet to finalise their race rosters for next year's Grand Tours, but with Chaves riding in Italy and then potentially returning to the Vuelta later in the year, Simon and Adam Yates are set to have another run at the Tour de France in July.

"We're going to confirm our plans in the next couple of weeks but that's currently what we are thinking," team director, Matt White told Cyclingnews.

"We'll look over the profiles in more detail, but my initial thoughts are that Esteban is a proven three-week GC guy and he has certainly shown this at the Vuelta this season. I know he is highly motivated to go to the Giro and the Vuelta next season to build on this season's performances."

Chaves rode the Giro d'Italia this year but failed to make an impact on the overall classification. He came back after a summer break and found his legs immediately at the Vuelta with a performance that has kick-started the 25-year-old's GC ambitions. He closed out the campaign with the overall win at the Abu Dhabi Tour, and White believes that a top-five or even podium place is achievable at the Giro and the Vuelta.

"You've got to aim high, and if you'd said to us as a team at the start of the year that Esteban was going to finish fifth at the Vuelta, when there was such a high calibre of GC field there, we would have been pleasantly surprised. However, what he's shown this year is his ability to back up his performances for three weeks. He had shown his class already but that key development that he showed at the Vuelta means we can go to a Grand Tour next year and aim for top five again, and why not aim high? The podium would be the ultimate at this stage of his progression."

Chaves' Giro-Vuelta plan means that the Yates brothers will have the chance to lead the team's overall ambitions at the Tour de France. Neither rider has performed at a Grand Tour with the same level of consistency that Chaves showed at the Vuelta this year, but both have shown huge promise since turning professional and have picked up wins and results in one-day and week-long races. White is not putting immense pressure on the pair but admits that they will be given the chance to compete in the GC in July.

"Are we ready to ride GC at the Tour with either of the Yates brothers next season, who knows, but we have eight months until the Tour, and with the way they've ridden this year I wouldn't put out of the question. What they've shown this year is that they can win big one-day races and compete in the biggest WT events. We'll go into the Tour with an open book and if GC doesn't work out this time around we'll go into stage-hunting mode in the mountains. One thing is for sure, there's plenty of stages in next year's Tour that suits both Adam and Simon.

"I think they'll run a similar template to the one they rode this year. So March and April they'll race to win and then they'll have rest period before taking on the Dauphine and then heading to the Tour. That worked well this year and they both came up well at the Tour after incredible starts to the season. One will go to Paris-Nice, the other to Tirreno and then we'll bring them back together for April."

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