Esteban Chaves

Nationality: ColombianChaves on the podium of Vuelta stage two by Watson
Date of birth: January 17, 1990
Height: 164cm
Weight: 54kg
Team: Orica-Scott
Twitter: @estecharu

Esteban Chaves wrote his name into the cycling history books in October 2016 by becoming the first non-European to win Il Lombardia, taking the biggest win of his young career in the process.

The diminutive Colombian has won the hearts of cycling fans the world over in recent years with his cheerful disposition and ear-to-ear smile which has been seen on the podiums of the Grand Tours over the past 18 months.

The 2015 Vuelta a España heralded Chaves’s breakthrough as a Grand Tour contender as he wore the red jersey for six days in the first week. He finished fifth overall and took two stage wins in one of the most memorable Grand Tours in recent history.

In his next three-week race, the 2016 Giro d’Italia, Chaves recorded his first general classification podium, finishing second overall to Vincenzo Nibali, but lost the race lead on the final mountain stage to the Italian.

The 2016 Vuelta saw him record successive podium finishes, ending up third overall behind Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome. His form from the Spanish race held him in good stead for the end-of-season Italian Classics as he won the Giro dell’Emilia and Il Lombardia in quick succession.

Chaves, born in Colombia’s capital Bogotá, first came to prominence as an amateur in 2011 when he won the prestigious youth race, the Tour de l’Avenir in France by 17 seconds.

He then turned professional with his native Colobia-Coldeportes team in 2012, competing in European races like Tirreno-Adriatico and Vuelta a Burgos.

Things took a downward turn for Chaves though in 2013, as he suffered near career-ending injuries in a crash in the Trofeo Laigueglia race in Italy.

Doctors in Colombia doubted whether he would ever race again, but eventually he was able to begin recuperation and the road back to racing after a nine-hour surgery to repair frayed nerves in his arm.

Chaves quickly moved up to cycling’s top level after his return to racing, signing a two-year deal with Orica-GreenEdge in 2014.

He immediately made an impression too, winning difficult mountain stages at the Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse, before his remarkable 2015 which saw him win the Abu Dhabi Tour as well as his success in the Vuelta.

After that impressive year, Orica made their first full attempt at a Grand Tour general classification win with Chaves as leader at the 2016 Giro. He finished second.

Chaves has spoken publicly about his struggles returning back to racing following his ongoing struggle with Epstein-Barr virus. Several injuries and time spent recuperating hint at his return to his former level. 2019 saw him win a stage of the Giro d’Italia and also sign a contract extension with Mitchelton-Scott until 2021.

His team director Matt White has been quoted saying ‘he can win at any race on the calendar’ as long as his health is right.

Esteban Chaves stage 20 2016 Giro d'Italia_Graham Watson 2

Major results


Giro d’Italia – Stage 19


Giro d’Italia – Stage 6

Herald Sun Tour – Overall


Giro d’Italia – second overall
Giro d’Italia – stage 14

Vuelta a Espana – third overall


Vuelta a España – fifth overall
Vuelta a España – stages two and six
Abu Dhabi Tour – first overall
Abu Dhabi Tour – stage three


Tour de Suisse – stage eight
Tour of California – stage six