Team Ineos have confirmed the signing of Andrey Amador following the announcement of his departure from Movistar on Tuesday. The Costa Rican had been heavily linked with a move to Ineos since last summer, but the transfer was complicated by a pre-contract agreement Amador had signed with Movistar.
Movistar manager Eusebio Unzué had requested that Amador pay a fee in order to release himself from his agreement with the Spanish team, and the matter was referred to the UCI's Abritral Board in December.
Amador was reportedly spotted training in Ineos team kit in Catalonia on December 31 but he remained unable to race until his dispute with Movistar was resolved.
The 31-year-old now follows Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz from Movistar to Ineos. He has signed a three-year contract with the British team.
"Who wouldn't be excited to sign with Team Ineos? I'm very happy to be part of this great team," Amador said. "I have spent all of my sporting career with Movistar and I owe them a lot – but I felt now is the right time in my career to seek some new motivations. This is a new challenge and I will give everything I have for this team.
"Everyone can see there is a strong unit at this team – there is an impressive bunch of riders and staff. I'm excited to be part of this group, joining alongside Richard Carapaz. I'm happy we can continue to ride together after what were able to do with Movistar at the Giro d'Italia."
Both Carapaz and Amador are represented by Giuseppe Acquadro, and Unzué has since refused to work with the Italian agent. Movistar riders Imanol Erviti and Sergi Samitier were required to find new agents before signing contracts with the team, while Acquadro's client Óscar Rodríguez ultimately left Euskadi-Murias for Astana, having previously been linked heavily with Movistar.
Amador has spent his entire professional career with Movistar (formerly Caisse d'Epargne) after stepping up to the top level in 2010. His greatest successes have come at the Giro d'Italia, where he placed fourth overall in 2015 and eighth in 2016. He also won a stage of the corsa rosa at Cervinia in 2012 and played a pivotal role in guiding Carapaz to overall victory last year.
Amador's Ineos debut and 2020 race programme have yet to be announced, but the Costa Rican may well form a part of Carapaz's supporting cast as he seeks to defend his Giro d'Italia title in May.
"My aim will be to try to contribute as much as I can in every race. I still have many things I can learn and improve on as a rider, and Team Ineos is the perfect place for me to do this," Amador said.
Team Ineos manager Dave Brailsford welcomed Amador's arrival, saying: "I've lost count of how many times I've admired Andrey's performances over the years. His consistent commitment to team goals and his ability to race across a wide range of terrain, combined with his upbeat personality is exactly what we seek in a Team Ineos rider."
"I still have many things I can learn and improve on as a rider, and Team INEOS is the perfect place for me to do this."We can confirm the signing of @Andrey_Amador on a three-year deal ✍February 12, 2020