Chaves was left wanting after Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) attacked with 10km remaining but as he and his Orica-GreenEdge team noted post race, his Grand Tour trajectory is on the up.
The difference in the 2016 Giro d'Italia may have been as simple as a battle hardened multiple Grand Tour winner versus an exciting young rider only just realising his potential.
“Today was really hard,” Chaves said at the finish. “I don’t want to make any excuses because we gave it everything today. I didn’t have the legs and that’s how it happened when I got dropped.”
“I am very proud of my teammates and how they were fighting, it has been an incredible Giro d’Italia and tomorrow we will have the last stage. After that we can celebrate everything we have achieved.”
“I really think that this is just the beginning for me and for ORICA-GreenEdge in Grand Tour races so for sure other opportunities will come.”
— CyclingCentral (@CyclingCentral) May 28, 2016
Orica-GreenEdge director Matt White echoed Chaves's comments, noting that the team left everything out on the road in the Maglia Rosa attempt.
“Esteban gave it everything,” said White. “We are very proud of him and all the boys on the team.”
“Vincenzo has been very strong the last two days and Esteban gave it everything he could and that’s all we can ask of him, this is another great experience for him and the team.”
“We were fifth at the Vuelta a Espana last year,” White said. “Now we are second at the Giro d’Italia behind one of the best Grand Tour riders of recent years and there’s certainly no disgrace in that.”
Esteban Chaves's parents congratulate Vincenzo Nibali after he took the Maglia Rosa from their son.