Orica Scott are set to announce their Grand Tour ambitions next week, with the team looking to target the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, and the Vuelta a Espana as part of their most ambitious season yet.
Speculation in recent weeks has suggested that Esteban Chaves will return to the Giro d'Italia, where he finished on the podium in 2016. However, a recent interview with the team's director spotif, Neil Stephens, indicated that the Colombian could ride the Tour de France – a race he has never taken part in.
With Chaves and the Yates brothers – Simon and Adam – all signing long-term contracts the team at the end of 2016, the team has a number of options when it comes to racing for GC over three weeks. During the early weeks of the season the team were adamant that their focus would remain on the Australian road season and they duly won four stages at the Tour Down Under, and the overall at the Herald Sun Tour.
"It's no secret we want to target each of the three Grand Tours in 2017 and we are confident we have come up with a great plan to do this with our young climbers Esteban Chaves, Simon and Adam Yates. We will be in a position to release this next week," team director, Matt White, told Cyclingnews.
"Obviously we have what most people would consider a good problem to have - three talented young guys, all who we believe are capable of solid general classification results at Grand Tours. A lot of factors, thought and discussion goes into rider's programs but we landed quite easily in a position the team, and the boys, are excited about."
Although Chaves finished on the podium in two Grand Tours last year, White gave no indication as to where the Colombian would racing come the spring and summer. Chaves' only confirmed race plans are the Colombian nationals, which take place later this month. However, White stressed that while the ambitions of the team were high, the pressure on his young climbers needed to be tempered.
"We need to remember these guys are still young and only have limited experience in the three-week races compared to those who they will try to challenge, but they are all extremely motivated to continue their progression in 2017. Our plans create the best environment to help ensure this happens.
"As you saw, Esteban started his year strongly in Australia whilst the Yates brothers have had a more low-key start to the year which suits them well. We are pleased with where they are all at for this time of year."
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