Gerrans believes Chaves can beat Froome in Australia
Australian Simon Gerrans believes that his teammate Esteban Chaves can beat Tour de France champion Chris Froome at the start of 2017 season
The Orica-Scott rider thinks that the Colombian will have what it takes to take away the throne from the Briton.
During the Herald Sun Tour presentation in Melbourne, Australia, Gerrans said that he is confident about the talents of Chaves to conquer one the first races of the calendar.
"I'm not sure of Sky's complete line-up or who else they are bringing out, but I think Esteban will have probably the upper hand on Chris at the Herald Sun Tour, purely because he's going to have the Tour Down Under in his legs," said the Australian.
"He's a guy who comes out in good shape early season anyway after doing a block of training in Colombia. I think we should have the upper-hand on them through options and through more racing than Team Sky."
The Herald Sun Tour of 2016 was a perfect race for Sky as they could show all their strengths. The race was dominated by the British squad with Peter Kennaugh being the leader until the last stage where Froome was crowned as champion with an advantage of 29 seconds on his teammate.
"They win many, many races in that way so it's a formula that works for them, and when you've got the strongest guy in the race to finish it off it's a pretty reliable way of winning. If that's the tactic they employ, we've got to try and combat it. It depends how well Chris is going and what sort of emphasis he is putting on his condition in January. But if he's in really good shape it's a sure fire way to get a result," added Gerrans.
The rider, who already won the Sun Tour twice, is going to work with the Colombian in the Australian races. It is set that he will defend his title in the Tour Down Under, while the Colombian will go for the February race.
"We'll play off each other's strengths. Course wise, the Tour Down Under probably suits me a little bit better and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour probably suits Esteban a little bit better. I think we both should be in good condition, and having a couple of options is going to be an advantage to the team," he concluded.