Amador returns to Giro podium

Costa Rica’s Andrey Amador, powering his sinewy limbs from his fi’zi:k Aliante foundation, defied the rain and competition to ride his way back onto the Giro d’Italia GC podium after Sunday’s stage nine time-trial that began and finished in Chianti. On treacherous, slippy roads, 29-year-old Amador showed the same form and elegance he exhibited on stage one’s opening time-trial – where he finished third – to finish in 10th, 1:19mins behind stage winner Primoz Roglic. The result lifted Amador ten places on GC to sit in third, just 32 seconds behind race leader Gianluca Brambilla.

It was a good day for Movistar as Spain’s Alejandro Valverde (fi'zi:k Antares 00) turned in a solid performance over the 40.5km course, finishing 22nd to nestle in sixth overall on GC. “It was a very difficult route, with two or three really tricky, dangerous corners but I came through it okay,” the 36-year-old Spaniard said after the stage. “I’m also very pleased for Andrey [Amador]. It gives Movistar two riders to use in the overall.”

Another fi’zi:k rider, Mikel Landa, also remains in contention as the Giro enters Monday’s second rest day. The Spaniard, who races for Team Sky, finished a fine 20th in his least-favored discipline, rising to eighth overall on GC. And chapeau also to Stefan Kueng (BMC and fi’zi:k Arione Vs ), who finished soaked, fatigued but seventh over the tough TT.

Elsewhere on the road, congratulations to fi’zi:k and Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Wouter Wippert who finished second at the Tour of California’s 170.5km opener, which started and finished in San Diego.

And from smooth to knobbly tyres, Julien Absalon (BMC MTB Racing Team and fi’zi:k saddles) overcame a puncture and slow change to charge through the field and finish third at the season-opening UCI MTB World Cup Cross-Country race in Cairns, Australia.