Esteban Chaves has proven himself in the Grand Tours and shorter stage races this year by winning two stages and leading the Vuelta a Espana for six days, ultimately finishing fifth overall, and claiming the overall victory in the Abu Dhabi Tour thanks to his win on Jebel Hafeet. The Colombian is primed for the 2016 season in which he will likely target success in both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana as stepping stones toward his Tour de France debut the following year.
Chaves spoke through his agent Giuseppe Acquadro about his breakthrough 2015 season and his goals for the future.
Q: What is your assessment of 2015? The second half was much better than the first, why?
Esteban Chaves: I’m very happy. The season half (of the season) is the reward for so much effort and work, perseverance and discipline. We are beginning to reap the rewards. The second part of the season kept getting better for me, and most of my wins have come there. I don’t know exactly why. Perhaps because of the weather. The first part of the year was very cold and I wasn’t going well. I hope I can change that.
Q: What changed between the Giro d’Italia and the Tour of Spain?
A: Most importantly I gained the motivation to train. Also, I trained in Colombia and the elevation there is formidable. I am at 2,600 metres above sea level and have climbs that end at 3,500. I can do almost 200 kilometres at that altitude, and that is a very important advantage. Nairo (Quintana) or Rigoberto (Uran) almost always achieve their best results when they return to train in Colombia.
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