Mitchelton-Scott have announced that Esteban Chaves has been diagnosed with mononucleosis and will not participate in the forthcoming Vuelta a España. The Colombian has not raced since the Giro d’Italia in May, where he won atop Mount Etna in the opening week but then abruptly dropped out of the general classification race on stage 10.
Chaves struggled through the remainder of the Giro, reaching Rome in 72nd place overall. He has undergone a battery of tests in the intervening period, with Mitchelton-Scott revealing on Thursday that he had been “diagnosed with a number of viruses, including Mononucleosis (also known as Epstein-Barr or Glandular Fever), along with sinus and allergy reactions.”
Although Chaves has been cleared to resume training after 10 weeks off the bike, it is unclear if he will return to competitive action in 2018. Mitchelton-Scott confirmed that he will not ride the Vuelta, where Simon Yates is slated to lead the line for the Australian team.
“It’s been a hard period. Since 2012, I haven’t been off the bike this long, especially because I can’t. It was not fast like you want. In this sport, we are used to answers and results coming fast and this process was slow and the time can make you crazy,” Chaves said in a statement on Thursday.
“We discovered some sickness, the doctors can always explain better, we had a surgery as well, and after that it was just waiting and having confidence to overcome what was a weird case.
“I’m happy to be back on the bike. It still hurts for sure, but I can already feel some differences; it’s a different suffering than I had before. Now it’s the normal suffering we get when starting again after such a long time off training. We are on the right path again and we have to keep patience and confidence like always.”
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