Viruses, sinus problems and allergies explain Esteban Chaves' slump at Giro d'Italia
Aug 09 2018 11:40 pm CET

Viruses, sinus problems and allergies explain Esteban Chaves' slump at Giro d'Italia
Viruses, sinus problems and allergies explain Esteban Chaves' slump at Giro d'Italia
Photo of Esteban Chaves © Mary Cárdenas /

Esteban Chaves has been cleared by Mitchelton-Scott to return to training but his competition approach will be conservative.

The Colombian started with the Giro d'Italia with a good foot by claiming the victory at the mythical Mount Etna of the sixth stage of the Italian race. But after the 10th stage, the rider started feeling bad and couldn't maintain an acceptable shape to help Simon Yates in the defence of the Maglia Rosa.

As a matter of fact, Chaves struggled most of the stages from then on and crossed the finish line in each of them among the last positions. After extensive testing, the rider was diagnosed with a number of viruses including the Epstein-Barr or Mononucleosis, along with sinus and allergy reactions.

After undergoing treatment and a period of rest, Chaves can return to training but will be under the support and guidance of the team. He will not take part in the Vuelta a España as was the plan from the beginning of the season.

"We discovered some sickness, the doctors can always explain better, we had a surgery as well, and after that, it was just waiting and having the confidence to overcome what was a weird case," said the Colombian. "I’m happy to be back on the bike. It still hurts for sure, but I can already feel some differences; it’s a different suffering than I had before. Now it’s the normal suffering we get when starting again after such a long time off training.

"We are on the right path again and we have to keep patience and confidence like always."

Manuel Rodriguez, Mitchelton-Scott's doctor explains the process of Chaves' recovery. "Epstein-Barr is not a new virus nor an uncommon one, but Esteban's tests showed that it was gaining strength and attacking when his immune system was down or in times of fatigue, most obviously in races or high-intensity training periods. Its strength likely allowed the introduction of other viruses into his body.

"After a period of rest and treatment for the viruses, Esteban was cleared for minor sinus surgery before undertaking a final recovery period. We are confident that the treatments have been successful and it is safe for Esteban to return to training but to prevent the reoccurrence of symptoms we will monitor his health without a deadline to return to racing."




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