Esteban Chaves will return to racing in February after eight month break due to illness

The Colombian took a hiatus from racing after being diagnosed with a health condition

Esteban Chaves on the way to victory on stage six of the Giro d'Italia (Picture: Yuzuru SUNADA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Esteban Chaves will rejoin the peloton in February at the Vuelta a la Valenciana in Spain.

The Colombian has taken an eight-month break from racing after he was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr virus this season.

Chaves, 28, last raced at the Giro d’Italia in June, where won a stage before dramatically falling out of contention after stage nine.

Winning stage six to Mount Etna, Chaves was in the top-three until stage 10 when he lost 25 minutes after being dropped on the first climb of the day.

The Mitchelton-Scott rider underwent numerous tests and even had minor surgery for a chronic sinus problem.

>>> What is the Epstein-Barr virus which Mark Cavendish has been diagnosed with?

His team announced in August that Chaves would not race the Vuelta a España, which was won by his 26-year-old team-mate Simon Yates.

At the time, Chaves said: “It’s been a hard period.

“Since 2012 I haven’t been off the bike this long.

“In this sport, we are used to answers and results coming fast and this process was slow and the time can make you crazy.”

>>> Chris Froome to ride Tour Colombia while Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish will do battle in Vuelta a San Juan

He returned to training in August, with Mitchelton-Scott doctor Manuel Rodriguez saying his progress and symptoms would be closely monitored.

Epstein-Barr virus is a common virus that causes infectious mononucleosis, or glandular fever.

Dimension Data’s Mark Cavendish took an indefinite break from racing after being diagnosed with the virus for a second time this summer.

The 33-year-old, who was eliminated from the Tour de France on stage 11 after missing the time cut, pulled out of the European Championships in August on medical advice.

Cavendish is also due to return to racing early next year at the Vuelta a San Juan along with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates).

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Alex is the digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.