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"Unfortunately, I made an error of assessment by asking the group to work for Carlos in the final part of the race, when he didn’t have good legs. I should have let Romain go away in the last climb," Jurdie says

Photo: Sirotti

AG2R CITROEN TEAM

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CARLOS ALBERTO BETANCUR

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FLECHE WALLONNE

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ROMAIN BARDET

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24.04.2014 @ 11:51 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Despite suffering the effects of a knee infection, Carlos Betancur was hopeful that he would be able to feature in the finale of yesterday's Fleche Wallonne after finishing 3rd in the race 12 months ago. However, the loss of condition was too great for the punchy Colombian who could only manage 36th and so the team regretted that they had not supported Romain Bardet instead.

 

Carlos Betancur has had a disastrous build-up to his first big goal of the season, the Ardennes classics, after illness took him out of the Volta a Catalunya and a knee infection left him with no strength at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Nonetheless, his Ag2r team were still hopeful that he would feature near the pointy end of the Fleche Wallonne whose finish on the Mur de Huy suits him down to the ground.

 

The team lined up with a two-pronged attack as Romain Bardet was set to animate the finale with attacks while Betancur should save himself for the final sprint up the Mur. Bardet did his part as he attacked on the penultimate climb of the Cote d'Ereffe and again at the bottom of the Mur.

 

However, there were no miracles for Betancur who could only manage 36th in the race and with Bardet showing splendid form, the team was left wondering what might have been if they had been supporting their French rider instead.

 

"The team was strong today and have done a good job," sports director Julien Jurdie said. "Unfortunately, I made an error of assessment by asking the group to work for Carlos in the final part of the race, when he didn’t have good legs. I should have let Romain go away in the last climb, because he was probably able to finish in the top 10. "

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