Esteban Chaves earns extended contract with Orica-GreenEdge after Grand Tour breakthrough

Colombian has taken two stages and spent six days in the leader's red jersey at the Vuelta and now commits to three more season with Australian team Orica

23 August 2015 70th Vuelta a Espana Stage 02 : Alhaurin de la Torre - Caminito del Rey 1st : CHAVES Johan Esteban (COL) Orica - GreenEDGE 2nd : DUMOULIN Tom (NED) Giant - Alpecin Photo : Yuzuru SUNADA
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Esteban Chaves has committed himself to a further three-years with Orica-GreenEdge, with the Australian team announcing a new contract with the Colombian to 2018 on the second Vuelta a España rest day on Monday.

The 25-year-old turned pro in 2014, joining Orica at the start of that season. In his first year he took victories on stages in the Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse, but Chaves made his real breakthrough in the latter part of this season with two stage wins and six days in the overall lead at the Vuelta before the third week of racing.

Chaves suffered severe injuries at the Trofeo Laigueglia race in 2013 which could have ended his career, but recovered and has developed into a potential Grand Tour contender alongside Orica's other young climbing specialists in Adam and Simon Yates.

Watch: How much do the Yates brothers really know about each other?

While the team had been pleased with Chaves's development before his storming Vuelta performance, sport director Neil Stephens said his ride in the Spanish tour is really just 'confirmation' of the his climbing talent.

“We are really pleased with how Esteban has developed,” said Stephens. “It’s really just confirmation of everything we thought Esteban would be.”

“We gave him confidence after his injury and worked with him with patience and he has responded to that and transformed into a fantastic bike rider.

“I guess it is all happening a little faster than we imagined. Every goal we set, he achieved that and a bit more. And now, even here at the Vuelta, he has done everything we asked of him and a bit more."

CHAVES Johan Esteban007p

Esteban Chaves on stage seven of the Vuelta a España (Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Chaves sits in sixth place, 2-38 behind current Vuelta leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) as the race hits its second rest day. With a long time trial on Wednesday's stage 17, not a discipline Chaves specialises in, there's likely to be another shake-up in GC with more difficult mountain stages to come before the race concludes in Madrid on Sunday.

But despite his impressive ride at the Vuelta, it's another race that Chaves has his eye on in the long-term.

“I’ll stay for three more years with ORICA-GreenEdge and actually I am really happy for that,” Chaves said.

“I feel really good in this team. Like I’ve said before, it’s like one big family.

“The team has confidence in me and this is important. The team is relaxed and is filled with passion. Three years is a time I can work to something bigger. I have done a lot this Vuelta, but I have said all my life I want to win the Tour de France one day.”

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).