After a historic 2015 campaign, Costa Rica’s Andrey Amador is continuing this season right where he left off. In Friday’s first stage of the Gira d’Italia, one of the three Grand Tour cycling races, Amador finished in third place with a time of 11 minutes 9 seconds, just six seconds behind first place rider Tom Dumoulin of Holland.
The ceremonial 9.8-kilometer ride through Apeldoorn in the Netherlands kicked off the 21-stage race that continues until May 29, going mostly through Italy but with foreign stages in Holland, France, and Switzerland.
As part of the Movistar Team, Amador is racing in the Giro d’Italia for the fifth time. The 29-year-old rider who is already the most accomplished cyclist in Costa Rican history finished fourth overall in last year’s Giro d’Italia, which is often considered the world’s second most important race behind the Tour de France. The near-medal finish was a dramatic, almost unfathomable improvement from his 110th place performance in 2014.
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) May 6, 2016
Amador continued his stellar 2015 with a great showing in the Vuelta a España, the third and final Grand Tour race alongside its French and Italian counterparts, Amador’s Movistar Team finished first overall in the team category.
In 2011, Amador made history by competing in the Tour de France, making him the first Costa Rican to race in the prestigious event.
The Costa Rican will continue his quest for a medal in the Giro d’Italia tomorrow when riders take route in the more grueling 190-kilometer flat stage from Arnhem to Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Sunday’s third consecutive flat stage will then conclude the Netherlands section of the tour before a lay day where riders will travel to Catanzaro, Italy near the southern coast to continue the Italian portion of the ride, beginning the race’s mountain stages.