Esteban Chaves commits his future to Orica-BikeExchange, signing a three-year contract which keeps him at the team through the 2019 season
The 26-year-old Colombian has enjoyed great success at Orica in recent seasons, recording podium finishes at the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España in 2016 and becoming the first non-European winner of Il Lombardia.
The Colombian was told by doctors that he may never ride again following a crash in 2013, but Orica kept faith in the diminutive rider, a decision which has paid dividends in the past 18 months.
“I had a hard start [following the crash],” he said. “But the good thing is that every year we set some objectives and every year we meet these objectives and do a little bit more.”
“It has been a special three years with this team and if we continue on this line, good things will come. We have a really young team, there are a lot of strong guys under 30, so if we keep growing together over the next few years we will be really strong in all of the races.
“I am super happy here and it is like one family. I never think to stay here for a couple of years and then look somewhere else because I am 100% happy here. I want to stay here with the people who gave me the opportunity when no one else gave me the opportunity or believed in me.”
Orica-BikeExchange sports director Matt White said: “For us, Esteban epitomises what this team stands for: guts, humility and leading by example.”
“For someone who has come through a career-threatening crash to come back and deliver on the road and then step up to lead a team in the world’s biggest races, is a testimony to his character.
“Esteban didn’t even speak English three years ago and now he continues to grow as a person and a rider as we continue to grow as a team around him. We are very proud and excited to have Esteban extend his journey with us.”