• Esteban Chaves is off to the Tour de France for the first time in his young career. (Getty)Source: Getty
After teasing late in 2016 that Esteban Chaves would ride the Giro d'Italia, Orica-Scott today confirmed that the Colombian climber would instead target the 2017 Tour de France.
Cycling Central

22 Feb 2017 - 7:20 PM 

The Australian-based outfit finally laid out its Grand Tour ambitions for 2017 with Chaves confirmed to make his Tour de France debut in July while British brothers Adam and Simon Yates will target May's Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España in August.

Chaves will also join the Yates brothers at the Vuelta setting the team up to be a triple threat at the Spanish race.

“Everyone says the Tour de France is a really different race, that it’s a lot of pressure and it’s super big, but I want to believe it is just one bicycle race and try to enjoy how much more is possible for me to achieve,” Chaves said.

“I think we chose this year the Tour de France because the time trials aren’t really long. It’s true, there’s not a lot of big mountain days but there is enough. The final climbs are hard and steep like the Vuelta a España so if I can find the performance from that race, it’s not bad for me.

“The Giro and Vuelta is proof I can do really well and I can stay with the best riders in the world.”

Aggressive Tour route set for 2017
Tour de France organisers announced a dynamic and interesting route for the 2017 edition of the race and a mountain stage for the women's La Course.

Orica-Scott sporting director Matt White said that his confidence in Chaves was bolstered after he secured two podium places in 2016 at the Giro and Vuelta, and that he had earned the right to lead the team at the Tour.

“Esteban has proved that he is ready, and he deserves this opportunity,” White said. “I think it’s pretty unrealistic to expect anyone to win their first Tour de France but physically, Esteban has shown he can ride general classification at Grand Tours and he can handle the stress involved.

“We don’t know how Esteban will come out of the Tour. He has done two Grand Tours in a year before but not back-to-back so we need to reassess after the Tour.

White said that the decision was geared toward the ongoing development of his young charges and that it was a long-term plan to blood his riders further.

“Our priority is still to continue their development at a speed that suits them individually. We want to give the guys a bigger foundation for the future because that’s where their biggest potential lies.”

The Yates brothers, who are younger than Chaves, will make their Giro debut at its 100 edition against some stiff veteran competition, including former winner, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

“The plan for the Giro d’Italia is to go with a two-pronged attack with the Yates brothers riding for the general classification,” White said. “It's a very special edition of the Giro and maybe the toughest last week of a Grand Tour I have ever seen. The boys are up to the challenge and it looks to be the best field ever assembled.”