Reception after Giro d'Italia
Costa Rican rider from Movistar Team receives honours in San José after huge fourth place in Giro d'Italia, a landmark in national sport
An impressive cortege received Andrey Amador (Movistar Team) as he landed at the Juan Santamaría airport in San José on Friday, willing to congratulate the Costa Rican after his fourth place overall in the Giro d'Italia. The telephone squad's rider was joined by lots of bicycles in a huge convoy heading into the capital's Plaza de la Cultura, where he saluted everyone standing there despite pouring rain and was recognised by the San José city council, also offering a press conference to all media present.
"I left this country thinking about winning a stage; I could have never imagined I would be up there, fighting with the GC guys in the big mountains," said Andrey, happy to return to "my country, which is everything to me, the place where I've always trained and prepared" for big races. "When I saw I was into the overall podium and other guys were struggling, fourth place wasn't enough for me, I wanted more… but we had to go day by day. I think this result is good for everyone, for cycling, for all sports in Costa Rica… we're a small country, yet with a big heart."
"I want to thank everyone who supported me from here; the Movistar Team, for staying always by my side; the Banco Popular… I just hope to keep progressing." Amador also warned during the press conference that "the Tour de France is not on my plans", being "two races that are too much together" in the calendar. The squad's Grande Boucle preselection, without Amador, will be announced on Saturday.
Thanks to Fanny Tayver and Diana Méndez / La Nación for their help and pictures.