Chaves, the who won the Queen stage the night before, rode out of his skin in last night’s 10.85km race against the clock with the 26-year-old gaining time on all but one of his rivals, overall leader Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo).
Chaves is now two minutes and 12 seconds down on race leader Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), and sits 39 seconds ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who finished two minutes and 10 seconds behind Stage 15 winner Alexandr Foliforov (Gazprom-RusVelo) after a mechanical.
“The feeling is really good after these two stages in the mountains. Today was very hard but we are happy because we gave the maximum amount of effort that we could and we got a good result.
“There is still a long way to go and we will continue to ride as we have been doing and stay positive going into the next stage.” - Esteban Chaves
Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo) was the first rider to break 29 minutes in last night's stage posting a time of 28 minutes and 39 seconds.
Foliforov’s time held as one by one the race favourites made their way out onto the road one minute after the other. Chaves, Nibali and Kruiswijk set off in that order with the Colombian the first of the top three onto the climb and 34 seconds down at the first time check.
Chaves produced another stunning effort completing the course in 29 minutes and 19 seconds while Nibali suffered a mechanical then a bike change in the final couple of kilometres losing over a minute to the Orica-GreenEDGE rider.
Kruijswijk retained the pink race leader’s jersey by finishing second on the stage a fraction of a second slower than stage winner Foliforov. Chaves took sixth on the day and moved up to second in the general classification.
Orica-GreenEDGE sport director, Matt White, was over the moon after another fantastic performance from Chaves at a crucial point in the race.
“It was an extremely tough course today,” said White. “There could be better uphill time trials for Esteban (Chaves), but nonetheless he rode this one to perfection.
“It was very fast and flying at the start and he showed himself to be one of the fastest guys on the climb out of the whole field.
“We can look forward to some hard stages and competition in the last week. There are thousands of metres of climbing to come and lots of racing but we are super happy to be in this position after another great day.”
Monday is the third and final rest day of this year’s Giro d’Italia with Stage 16 taking place on Tuesday, another mountain stage covering 132km from Bressanone to Andalo.
The stage includes the infamous Mendel Pass/Passo della Mendola that comes before the final climb of the day the Paganella with brutal gradients of 15 per cent.