Orica GreenEdge has announced the signing of former Tour de l’Avenir winner Esteban Chaves on a two-year deal.
The Colombian rider suffered serious injuries in a crash early this season at the Trofeo Laigueglia suffering a broken collarbone, fractures in his left petrous bone, right cheekbone, maxillary sinuses, and sphenoid bone. He had to endure two operations and has spent the remainder of the year recovering.
Now back on the bike the 23-year-old is readying himself for his debut in the WorldTour ranks.
“I would like to thank Orica GreenEdge for their faith in me. I am very happy to be a part of the team for the coming seasons. This is a great opportunity for me and a dream come true after a very difficult year,” Chaves said in a team press release.
“I have been involved in cycling for the last ten years, which is thanks to my father, who is a big sports fan,” Chaves said. “The last three years of my career have been very important. I have been able to compete at the highest level and I have learnt some small things, but I obviously still have a lot to learn.
“The biggest moments in my career have been the overall win at Tour de l’Avenir and my first win as a professional on the mountain stage of Vuelta Burgos,” continued Chaves. “I feel the win in Burgos was the most important. It filled me with emotion to take such a fine win after a difficult start to the season.”
Chaves has not raced this season as he recovered from his injuries, however Neil Stephens admitted that the rider’s early promise coupled with medical reassurances that the rider could once again compete were enough to offer Chaves a contract.
“The first time I saw Esteban race was in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2011,” said Stephens.
“I knew then that he would be a great talent in the cycling world. It's a coincidence that I was also present at the Tour of Burgos to watch him win the mountain stage to Laguna de Neila. As soon as I found out we had a chance to sign him, I knew we had to take this opportunity.”
“I expect a lot out of the 2014 season,” said Chaves. “My initial objective is to rejoin the peloton and get over any initial nerves from not having raced for quite a while. From there, I hope to continue to gain confidence toward the most important races. Any type of result I achieve along the way will be a bonus.”