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Nervous, excited, anxious: Chaves and Simon Yates return at Vuelta a Burgos

Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates atop Mount Etna on the 2018 Giro d'Italia.
Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves – winning at Mount Etna on the 2018 Giro d’Italia – will be linking up for Mitchelton-Scott at the 2020 Vuelta a Burgos (Image credit: Getty Images)

The women’s team has already returned to winning ways, and next week it’s the turn of Mitchelton-Scott’s men’s squad to re-start their racing season at the Vuelta a Burgos, with a stacked climbing squad that contains Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves. The Vuelta a Burgos, July 28 to August 1, has a stellar start list with Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, Alejandro Valverde, and Richard Carapaz set to race. 

The five-day race has two stages for the sprinters but the remaining four days are dialed in for the climbers and the GC contenders, with Yates and Chaves, set to be supported by Mikel Nieve and Jack Haig in the mountains.

“It is going to be a pretty competitive field. Realistically I think we will be competitive, but the main thing is it will be a test after four and a half months without racing,” said Matt White, in a statement released by the team.

“I’m sure the vast majority of the field has been at altitude so I expect the general level to be very high and with the team we have, I expect our guys to be very competitive. How competitive, we will find out. It is a really good race to test ourselves at for the races coming up, for some guys that’s the Tour de France, for some guys it’s the Giro.”

While Yates will be using the race to prepare for the Giro d’Italia his Colombian teammate, Chaves, is set on a path that will take him to the Tour de France – although the official line-ups has yet to be confirmed. The 30-year-old spent most of COVID-19 lockdown in his native Colombia but is back in Europe and raring to go. He has fond memories of the race after success in 2012 but he former Giro d’Italia podium finisher and 2016 Il Lombardia winner is looking forward to the challenge that awaits him next week.

“I am really nervous, excited and anxious but I think I am in good shape. Personally, the lockdown was a good time for me and after that, I am more hungry and I can see everything with a different perspective. Burgos will be the start of this new chapter so I am very excited. The most important thing for me in Burgos is to see how my performance is of course, but also to be back at the races and see the team, both my teammates and staff, and be involved again in the racing atmosphere. That will be really nice, of course I have missed that. 

“Burgos is special for me as my first professional victory was in Vuelta a Burgos in 2012 on the last stage up Lagunas de Neila. We have that climb again this year so that is pretty exciting. "This year we have two hilltop finishes so it will be nice to see how the legs compare to the other riders and to know already how the training and all the work we did in Colombia was, now that we start the campaign in Europe.”

Mitchelton-Scott for the Vuelta a Burgos: Esteban Chaves, Alex Edmondson, Jack Haig, Lucas Hamilton, Chris Juul-Jensen, Mikel Nieve, and Simon Yates.