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"I was asked to do the Giro d'Italia, and of course I'm going to do the Vuelta a Espana. I will begin my season in Argentina with San Luis, then I'll do Tirreno, Catalonia, Pais Vasco, Romandie and the Giro."

Photo: Sirotti

CARLOS ALBERTO BETANCUR

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DECATHLON AG2R LA MONDIALE

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15.12.2014 @ 13:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In 2014, Carlos Betancur missed out on a Tour de France debut due to illness. In 2015, the Colombian will focus fully on the Giro-Vuelta double and will even skip the Ardennes classics.

 

Carlos Betancur has returned to Europe and is now in Spain with the Ag2r team to prepare himself for the 2015 season and jopes to redisvocer the legs that allowed him to win Paris-Nice in the beginning of the year. Contact by Revista Mundo Ciclistico, the Colombian says that he is dedicatd to his training, choice of equipment, team kit, phot session and advertising work which he cliams to be "harder than riding a bike as we have to do a series of activities after the training and the lunch. But it is part of our work. Furthermore, it is the most important training camp of the season since it is the only opportunity to meet all team memebers.

 

Betancur also took stock of the 2014 season, describing it as "excellent if we consider the achievements in Haut Var and Paris-Nice (which he both won, ed.). We were second and sixth in the Tour de France which means that it was the best year in the history of the team. This has made us strengthen the roster and we are very motivated to try to improve in 2015."

 

 

 

After his excellent start, Betancur had a turbulent season. He suffered from injuries in the spring before he returned to Colombia. Suprisingly, he didn't return to Europe in time for the Tour de Suisse which was set to be his final preparation race for the Tour de France and he ultimately skipped the French race, citing illness.

 

Ag2r were very surprised by his behaviour and for a long time, he was reported to leave the team. In the end, the parties agreed to continue their collaboration for the final year of Betancur's contract.

 

"What happened this year has to be addressed as a cycling-related incident," he says. "I am the only one who can explain what happened but that is notw history. In 2015, I intend to reclaim my place in the world of cycling. I feel great and am looking forward to showing that last year's events were what prevented me from doing what I wanted."

 

Betancur now claims to have a great relationship with the team.

 

"It is very good," he says. "We cleared everythig properly. I wanted to stay here because I have more opportunities here. I have more freedom as a leader and do not want to leave until  I have a good reason to do so."

 

 

In 2014, Betancur planned to make his Tour de France debut after his great performance in the 2013 Giro d'Italia. This year, however, he will return to Italy instead.

 

"With the coaching staff we have decided not to go to the Tour (de France) as the team would then have three leaders (Betancur, Bardet and Peraud, ed.). I cannot hope to get a spot since the others have proved that they deserve to be there. I was asked to do the Giro d'Italia, and of course I'm going to do the Vuelta a Espana. I will begin my season in Argentina with San Luis, then I'll do Tirreno, Catalonia, Pais Vasco, Romandie and the Giro. Then we will see how to continue the program leading to the Vuelta a Espana and the Worlds."

 

 

Apart from his cycling career, Carlos Betancur has also started to organize social activities in which his name and presence are an important factor, just like his compatriots Rigoberto Uran and Nairo Quintana have done. He is enthusiastic about both his sporting career and his social project and announces that he will return to Colombia on December 22 to spend Christmas and New Year at home.

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