Six years after historical Giro d’Italia stage win, Costa Rican from Movistar Team claims day’s honours at Klasika Primavera in superb Blue one-two with Alejandro Valverde, both leading final climbs of Montecalvo, Autzagane. Betancur takes 4th.
Andrey Amador was able to bring a victory to his daughter Gretta, born two months ago, and taste the sweet flavor of victory for the second time in Movistar Team colours, almost six years after his stage win in the 2012 Giro d’Italia. The 31-year-old allrounder from Costa Rica showed his impressive form on Sunday’s Klasika Primavera de Amorebieta (171km), covered under the rain almost entirely and controlled all-day-long by the telephone squad. Early work from Jaime Castrillo, Rafa Valls, Winner Anacona and Rubén Fernández, plus some attacks by Carlos Betancur to spice things up in the opening climbs, led to Andrey’s decisive one-two move alongside Alejandro Valverde, less than 20km before the finish.
The two Blues jumped from a 20-rider selected field at the third climb to Montecalvo, and after getting together into the descent to Zugastieta, they started a ‘duo TT’ which Strakhov (LOK) tried to bring back. The Russian, however, wasn’t able to connect with the duo at the Autzagane ascent, and the two Movistar Team riders crossed the finish in Zornotza with 10″ over a five-man pursuit where Carlos Betancur got incredibly close to a podium sweep: 4th, behind Colombia’s Wilmar Paredes (MZN).
Amador’s sucess in the 13th for the Spanish outfit -the fifth blue to claim a win in 2018, after Valverde, Landa, Soler and Dayer Quintana-, 14 if we consider the quick ‘response’ by his team-mate Mavi García in Noja, minutes later. For Valverde, this result in Amorebieta is a further confirmation of his excellent form before the upcoming Ardennes trio.
REACTION / Andrey Amador:
“I’m super happy – I almost can’t believe I’ve won, because I had spent so much time without a victory. However, I knew I had things right, trained so hard in the winter – I just needed some good luck. I crashed hard in Harelbeke, hurt my ribs, wasn’t able to do well in he first classics and ended up missing both De Ronde and Roubaix. But see, I was then taken to an alternate calendar after this and, I’ve just taken this win in Amorebieta… Just incredible!
“The team was sensational today, and the first thing I’ve got to do is thank them all, and especially Alejandro. He’s a big champion, but above all, a great man. He didn’t want the victory, otherwise I’d have finished second! (laughs). We controlled the race well, made a big selection into the first couple of climbs and I got into a group of four, five riders. I decided to accelerate later on and once I was alone, I just continued to push. I saw Alejandro coming back, waited for him and we covered those last kilometers together.
“This victory really makes me confident for what’s to come. Now it’s time to work hard for Alejandro in the Ardennes, and then ride the Tour de Romandie. I did some good preparations for this first half of the season and feel strong, both my legs and my mind. I just lacked that extra luck, and it finally came today. This victory goes to my little baby, Gretta. She’s changed everything in my life, and made me focus even more and try to be an example for her in every single aspect.”
Picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport
- 01 Andrey Amador Movistar Team 4h06'11''
- 02 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team m.t.
- 03 Wilmar Paredes Manzana Postobón + 10''
- 04 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team m.t.
- 12 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team + 30''
- — Winner Anacona Movistar Team DNF
- — Jaime Castrillo Movistar Team DNF
- — Rafa Valls Movistar Team DNF