Movistar releases Amador, freeing him up for expected Ineos transfer

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After a months-long dispute, the Movistar team has announced that it has “reached an agreement” with Andrey Amador to release him from his contract. The decision frees the Costa Rican all-rounder to make an expected move to Ineos.

“We wish Andrey all the best in his future endeavors, after 11 successful years together,” read a tweet from Movistar. “Thank you.”

Amador has spent the entirety of his pro career with the squad, dating back to 2009 when it was still known as Caisse d’Epargne. In that time, he delivered a handful of big performances in Grand Tours, particularly in the Giro d’Italia, where he has won a stage and twice finished in the top 10. He was also a key support rider for overall winner Richard Carapaz there last year.

Amador’s future with the Movistar team became complicated last season. It was announced in July that he had extended his contract—but his agent Giuseppe Acquadro continued to angle for a deal elsewhere. Amador reportedly went on to sign a deal with Ineos, setting up a move to join Carapaz in transferring to the British WorldTour outfit.

Amador’s situation and the contract negotiations of several other riders led to a deterioration of the relationship between Acquadro and Movistar manager Eusebio Unzué, who ultimately decided to stop working with Acquadro altogether.

With Amador’s own future unresolved through the end of last season, the UCI’s Arbitral Board took up the case. Unzué said that he would not demand Amador stick to whatever agreement he had made with Movistar as long as Amador paid some form of compensation for the broken deal.

“This conflict has a simple solution: If he pays, he goes,” Movistar told El Confidencial.

Any terms that were agreed upon to ultimately set up his release on Tuesday were not announced, but Amador is now free to join Ineos.

The 33-year-old posted a lengthy message of gratitude and praise for Movistar on Instagram following the release, writing, “The time has come to say goodbye. I’m thankful and always will be for these 11 years that we’ve been able to share at this great team, which I have only good things to say about.”

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