It took just a handful of months for Esteban Chaves to taste his first pro victory after being addressed as one of the most intriguing Colombian prospects in 2011 with his great win at the Tour de l’Avenir. But El Chavo seems to have liked it, as he didn’t wait long to take his second one in Italy, at GP Città di Camaiore on Saturday, August 11th.
The 22-year-old Colombia Coldeportes rider came out on top of a 5-man sprint, beating Russian Sergeii Chernetckii (Itera-Katusha) and Italian national champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) on the finishing line in Camaiore after 199 km. The selected group had formed on the final climb to the Monte Pitoro, when Chaves and Pellizotti had broken the pace out of a 50-man peloton.
Chaves’ win in Camaiore was the perfect reward for a superb team effort, and the “kid” from Bogota was quick to credit his team mates for another joy in just a few days: “I am so happy! It was a very tough race, incredibly fast from the beginning, and the hot weather made it even more demanding. In the finale it came up to a 5-man challenge, but I must thank the whole team that made an excellent job: we managed to remain focused, working our way into the key breaks and really making the race we wanted.”
“In the final sprint I moved in the wake of Pellizotti, who hit out early: I came out along the barriers and moved ahead. I made a good sprint, but Chernetckii was really close, and I was not sure to have won it right afterwards. But it panned out well,” smiling Chaves told us.
The Italian semiclassic was raced at a frantic pace from the early stage: several brakes animated the race on the first circuit, with a number of big groups on the road. Colombia Coldeportes, with the guidance of Valerio Tebaldi from the team car, was quick to react to every action, and when a 50-man break formed after the first climbs on the Monte Pitoro, no less than 8 Escarabajos were at the front to represent Claudio Corti’s outifit.
The Team held the reins of the peloton until the final climb up the Monte Pitoro, when Chaves went on the attack splintering the group, and then dug deep again with Pellizotti being the only one to hold on his wake. Near to the summit, Chernetckii, Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF) got back on the escapees, forming the 5-man group that would contest the final sprint for the 63rd edition of the Italian race.
“It was another very good day for us – General Manager Claudio Corti said – we are very proud of the excellent display of the team, that exceeded the expectations in a very demanding race. Chaves made the difference on the Monte Pitoro, but still saved enough energy to get over Pellizotti and deliver another great win.”
Photo: A close sprint in Camaiore played into the hands of “El Chavito”, Esteban Chaves