Colombia’s Esteban Chaves, riding for the Mitchelton-Scott team, won Australia’s Herald Sun Tour on Sunday.
Chaves, who finished second at the 2016 Giro d’Italia, joined reigning Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana champion Chris Froome and 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins on the honour roll of Australia’s oldest stage cycling race.
Chaves’s 11th placing in Sunday’s 152.1-kilometre Gumbuya World stage four around Kinglake in Victoria was enough to secure the overall win.
He finished 41 seconds ahead of his nearest non-teammate challenger.
Sam Crome (Bennelong SwissWellness) took line honours in the bunch sprint, edging Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott) and Portuguese national champion Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo) to secure the stage win.
“It was a tough day,” Chaves said. “This was the last chance for everyone. We raced from the beginning until the end.
“Congratulations to everyone — the level of racing in Australia is just unbelievable.”
Chaves’s teammates Meyer and Damien Howson — both past winners — rounded out the general classification top three with Mitchelton-Scott sweeping the overall podium for the first time in the history of the Herald Sun Tour.
“It is a really nice feeling to win here at our home race,” Chaves said.
“The team did really well — thanks so much to all the guys for all they did for the general classification.
“One, two, three — it’s unbelievable. This is a great start to the season.” – Agence France-Presse