San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Cycling

Costa Rica’s Andrey Amador: ‘I don’t feel fear. Respect, yes, but not fear.’

MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, Italy – Costa Rican cyclist Andrey Amador, who currently ranks third in the Giro d’Italia, said Monday during a break from the race that he is “proud” and “motivated” to defend his position “for as long as I can” before facing the last week of competition.

On Tuesday, Amador will embark on the 16th leg, just 4 minutes and 19 seconds behind Spanish leader Alberto Contador, but with an edge of barely 27 seconds over Basque competitor Mikel Landa.

“Each day I’m less surprised at what we’re accomplishing. I’m happy to still be there, to be struggling, at my rhythm, to give what I know I can,” Amador said.

“Tuesday will be complicated. We have Campo Carlo Mango at the start, then Tonale, which is a puertarraco [a major uphill battle], after that, Mortirolo, two passages through Aprica, which although it’s flat and I already know it, always becomes difficult,” Amador added. “I don’t feel fear. Respect, yes, but not fear.”

The Costa Rican cyclist added: “I believe you always have to think big. We can all have a complicated day, but I feel motivated, willing and I’m going to try to keep and defend what’s mine for as long as I can.”

For Amador, this year’s “Giro” has been exceptionally challenging: “We’ve had a lot of rain this second week, and in general there’s not been a day when you could say, ‘Look, today we rest,’ as we’ve had in other editions. … Every day, including the short or flat ones, there’s been tension, and tomorrow will bring more of the same. There’s still more to come.”

For Costa Rican fans cheering back home, Amador expressed gratitude, saying, “I’m completely grateful for the support they’ve given me. Whatever I’ve accomplished, I dedicate it to them.”

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