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(QCOSTARICA) Costa Rican cyclist Andrey Amador reached third overall in the Giro d’Italia, one of the principal bike races in the world, with his Movistar teammates doing all they can to support him.

His time in the 69.4 kilometers between Treviso and Valdobboniadene was the best of his career and the best ever ranking for a Costa Rican.

He paced himself well in registering his 1:19.40 time. Amador is only 3:36 behind new leader Alberto Contador of the Trinkoff Saxo team. He has a great chance of finishing second in one of the most prestigious cycle races in the world.

Amador has paid his dues, acting as backup for his team but now it is his turn to gain the spotlight. Amador’s fiancee, Laura Segu, confessed she wept for joy to see her prometido in third place. His mother, Rausa Bikkazakova, said from Italy, “Andrey has given us a great present.”

It was not only the local media who heaped praise on Amador — the Spanish newspaper Marca noted that Amador gained his third place “against all predictions” in a well deserved third place only a short distance from the leader.

“The Movistar team came without their leader for the final classification and it appears that they found one in this young cyclist that they will try to maintain the best leader when they get to the great mountain tests,” the publication added.

Mundo Departivo also lauded Amador. Ticos from all over the world congratulated Andrey — from President Solis to Keylor Navas, goalie of Real Madrid soccer team in Spain.

Amador posted this comment on the Movistar team page: “Coming up are some difficult stages, with a lot of mountain riding, which will make them the hardest part of the race for me, but I am motivated and excited and wish to keep fighting. We have to take it one day at a time. We are a group of fighters, we came here with the goal of winning stages and to put on a show, and I think we are doing that”.

On Sunday Amador came through with a 6th place finish, and kept pace with Contador and Aru to maintain his position in 3rd place overall. On Monday the riders will have a break before the remaining six stages.

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