Chaves fired out of a reduced chasing group in the steep final four kilometres and powered his way towards the leading trio of eventual stage winner Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
Finding his rhythm, Chaves caught and passed Kuss and Valverde but with still Adam Yates ahead, it was all to fight for. Within the final kilometre, it appeared that the Colombian was making a significant dent in Yates' lead, drawing closer with each pedal stroke. But the 'Colombian Kangaroo' had to settle for a bittersweet second place, crossing the line just 13 seconds down on the stage winner and new race leader Adam Yates.
“I lost the momentum in the final part," said Chaves. "It is the first race, and the confidence is not 100 per cent especially after the last years and months and I lost the momentum in the final moment. I have to work harder but I am getting closer."
Heading into tomorrow’s queen stage, Team BikeExchange have a strong representation near the top of the standings with Simon Yates, Chaves and Lucas Hamilton sitting in eighth, ninth and 14th place overall respectively, with still plenty of movement on the classification possible.
“The team worked really well as always today, we understand each other and now we are looking forward to tomorrow," said Chaves. “Today really gives me and the team a lot of confidence for tomorrow and for the coming days and the season in front.
“Adam (Yates) was really strong in the end and it was the first real test for my legs, but I am happy with this ride."