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"I think Geraint Thomas remains one of my most dangerous rivals as well as Nibali but AG2R are among the best teams to help me in the mountains and to defend the yellow jersey. I'm a little bit tired and the two last stages ar...

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CARLOS ALBERTO BETANCUR

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DECATHLON AG2R LA MONDIALE

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PARIS - NICE

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14.03.2014 @ 20:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Carlos Betancur stamped hi authoroty on Paris-Nice by producing another stunning ride in today's queen stage to take his second consecutive stage win. The Colombian knows that difficult terrain is coming up but he feels confident that his team will be strong enough to defend the jersey all the way to Nice.

 

Carlos Betancur failed to win a single race for Ag2r in his first year with the team but in 2014 he has finally got the ball rolling. After winning a stage and the overall at the Tour du Haut-Var, he has now taken two consecutive stage wins in Paris-Nice after winning today's queen stage.

 

Betancur showed his strength when he closed the gap to Rui Costa who had briefly escaped when Betancu's teammate Alexis Vuillermoz crashed in the final hairpin bend. He still had enough left in the tank to take a commanding win and take the yellow jersey off Geraint Thomas' shoulders.

 

Betancur now sits 8 seconds ahead of Thomas on GC and has set his sights on the overall win. Knowing that difficult terrain is coming up, he is confident that Ag2r is strong enough to carry him to the victory in Nice.

 

"I knew it was going to be long day, with a lot of kilometres, but that the finale suited me," he said. "My AG2R team were very cohesive and this is the result of their great work. My teammates have perfectly supported me and the team’s work has helped me to be well positioned in the pack in the last two kilometers. I would never been able to win this stage without this work and that is the illustration of the great cohesion of our group since the start of this race.

 

"I think we can say tonight that it was a great day for Ag2r and it was difficult to do better today. Obviously, now the main goal is to keep the leader’s jersey to Nice, it will not be easy but we will do our best to succeed.

 

"I think Geraint Thomas remains one of my most dangerous rivals as well as Nibali but AG2R are among the best teams to help me in the mountains and to defend the yellow jersey. I'm a little bit tired and the two last stages are tough, we will see.


"(Former Italian pro) Michele Bartoli is like a father for me, I live one kilometre away from him and I could not think of a better inspiration than him to learn my job as a pro rider."

 

Betancur will do his first Tour de France later this year.

 

"I'm a very ambitious rider," he said. "I know the first Tour de France is always difficult but I just want to prepare the way I prepared for the Giro last year and do the best I can for my team. For the past two or three years, Colombian riders have been coming to Europe and doing better and better even if it's difficult because we're so far away from our families."

 

You can read our preview of stage 7 here and follow our live coverage at 14.25 CET on CyclingQuotes.com/live.

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