The 33-year-old Costa Rican has become a bedrock in the Spanish team, riding in support of the team’s leaders for multiple grand tours a year, as well as backing up Alejandro Valverde in one-day races.
However, after years of duty to the team, Amador is eyeing a move to the “reference team” of the peloton, Team Ineos.
In an interview with website Joan Seguidor, Amador spoke of his desire to join the British superteam that has dominated the Tour de France since 2012.
“Of course, I want to go to Team Ineos,” he said. “Now the situation is uncertain, but I need new goals and objectives.”
“Ineos is the order, the reference team, since they began as Team Sky,” said Amador. “They have brought a great technological leap to this sport and revolutionized the way of doing things.”
Amador has been looking to free himself from a provisional contract agreement with his team for the past months. The agreement would have Amador staying in Movistar’s blue for another two years, but the Costa Rican is hoping otherwise. The uncertain situation is another fallout of the fracturing relationship between Movistar and Amador’s agent Giuseppe Acquadro.
“I hold these ten years in Movistar with love, they will stay with me forever, but I need a change,” he said. “Hopefully the situation will clear up shortly.”
Movistar has been one of the few teams able to compete with Sky/Ineos in the grand tours in the past decade, with Valverde, Nairo Quintana, and Mikel Landa typically following hot on the heels on the likes of Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, and Egan Bernal in the overall.
“We [other teams] admire their way of dominating the Tour de France, which is the most difficult race to control,” said Amador. “The perfect eight arrive, dominate the situation, do not despair, think of the collective before the individual, all together, do not step on each other.”
While Ineos has a way of keeping their fleet of grand tour-winning riders happy, there is sometimes an air of confusion in the Movistar camp, with the ‘trident’ of leaders acting as much in their own interests as those of the team. “Three lions in the same cage is not easy to manage,” said Amador of the difficult relationship between the trio.
But where would Amador fit into a stellar Ineos squad?
“I am a rider who has a hard time winning and that adds up to the team,” said Amador. “I can be important at key moments. Now I am much less impulsive, more mature and I notice that in my work for others.”
One thing that has defined Sky/Ineos for the past decade is the strength of its support riders, with the likes of Wout Poels, Michal Kwiatkowski and Gianni Moscon all boasting their own success in stage races.
Amador is one of the best-respected domestiques in the peloton, and played a key role in shepherding Richard Carapaz into the pink jersey in the 2019 Giro. The Costa Rican is himself capable of getting onto grand tour podiums, placing fourth at the 2015 Giro and forgoing a shot at the pink jersey the following year while he rode in support of Valverde, who finished third.
With mountain workhorse Wout Poels leaving Ineos for Bahrain-McLaren in 2020, there’s a clear slot for Amador in the British team’s ranks.
Movistar is losing grand tour contenders Carapaz, Landa, and Quintana in 2020 in what will be a transitional year for the team. Were Amador to leave as well, they would lose a key anchor capable of pinning them in place in what could work out as a tricky year.