'I just didn't have the strength': Esteban Chaves turns full support to Yates after Giro time loss

Esteban Chaves will support team-mate and race leader Simon Yates after losing 25 minutes on stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia

Esteban Chaves on stage 10 of the 2018 Giro d'Italia.
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Colombian Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) bombed out of the Giro d'Italia's overall classification as the race crossed the drenched central regions of Italy.

Chaves, second overall in 2016, sat second in the general classification behind British team-mate and race leader Simon Yates when stage 10 left Abruzzo after the rest day. He finished the race's longest day, 244 kilometres, six-and-a-half hours later.

Dropped in the opening kilometres of the stage, Chaves fought to rejoin, but failed. He crossed the line 25 minutes behind and drifted to 39th overall.

Attention now turns to Yates's overall hopes. Chaves and the team will rally behind him as he attempts to win the grand tour ahead of stars Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).

>>> Five talking points from stage 10 of the Giro d’Italia

"We've still got to understand my problems," Chaves said.

"I just didn't have the strength and couldn't stay with the best on the first climb. We tried to chase with the team and got to within one minute, but it didn't work out."

Chaves enjoyed the rest day with Yates, sitting shotgun to the race leader with two weeks left. The first climb out of the start town of Penne, though, finished his Giro hopes.

Teams were ready, too. Mitchelton and other teams warmed up on turbo trainers given the hard start predicted. Chaves and Sports Director Matt White had even driven the first 100 kilometres on the rest day.

Yates, as he has since the race started in Jerusalem, rode like a cyclist on the verge of winning his first grand tour. Chaves paid, however, through the tough hills of Abruzzo, Marche and Umbria. White guessed that allergies affected him.

With Chaves now clearly out of the overall picture, any question of team leadership is answered.

"I'm confident that I'm going well, I have great legs, but not going to think this is going to be easy. My rivals are extremely strong. I'm confident, but I understand what I'm trying to achieve," Yates said.

>>> Matej Mohoric wins Giro d’Italia stage 10 as Esteban Chaves loses 25 minutes

"I think it becomes harder, because we are on the final climbs and before, we had two cards to play.

"Now it's only me and we'll have to adjust. For sure he'll be a strong help for me in the climbs, so you can look at it two ways."

"Nothing changes, we're still trying to win the Giro," White explained.

"Esteban's chances for GC are gone, which means I've got one very handy helper for Simon when it matters. We're only back to the same square as every other team now."

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1