fi’zi:k’s Chaves second at the Giro

Podiums In California & Albstadt

Esteban Chaves, aboard his fi’zi:k Antares saddle and competing for Orica-GreenEDGE, enters the Giro’s third and final rest day firmly in contention for overall honors after Sunday’s 10.8km uphill time trial from Castelrotto to Alpe di Siusi. The 26-year-old Columbian put in a stellar effort to finish in sixth place, just 40 seconds behind surprise winner Alexander Foliforov. The result leaves Chaves in second on GC, 2min 12sec behind leader Steven Kruijswijk.

The course started gently but quickly entered the hurt zone, with constant pitches of 8%-plus unsettling many riders’ rhythm. But Chaves remained stoic and showed no after-effects of his immense ride the day before when claiming victory in the 210km queen stage from Alpago to Corvara, which featured six categorized climbs and five that were over 2,000m altitude.

‘I’m feeling really good after these two stages in the mountains,’ said Chaves. ‘Today was very hard but we are happy because we gave the maximum amount of effort that we could and we got a good result.’

It was also a very positive day for Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde (fi’zi:k Antares 00), who resurrected his bid for overall victory with a superb third and now sits in fourth on GC, 3min 29sec behind Kruijswijk. Valverde’s teammate, Andrey Amador (fi’zi:k Aliante), is a further 1min 58sec back in seventh.

Over in America, fi’zi:k riders took to the podium at the Tour of California. Julian Alaphilippe claimed top step but was pushed all the way over the eight-stage race by BMC Racing’s Rohan Dennis ( fi’zi:k R1B Uomo shoes and fi’zi:k Arione R3 saddle) and Brent Bookwalter (fi’zi:k Antares 00), who finished second and third, respectively. On the final stage, both riders finished behind the sprinters, with Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data and fi’zi:k saddles) taking out the win. Cannondale Pro Cycling and fi’zi:k’s Andrew Talansky and Lawson Craddock followed behind on GC in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Meanwhile in Germany, fi’zi:k rider and five-times World Champion Julien Absalon faced an epic battle with Nino Shurter. This time the Frenchman had to settle for step two of the podium in round two of the XC World Cup at Albstadt. A race-long elbow-to-elbow contest over a tough course went down to the last few meters as the Swiss forced a reverse of last year’s result.