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“There were some things that weren’t going well with the team, and it was better to change things. We’ve reached an agreement with Vincent (Lavenu) and Carlos is leaving the team on friendly terms,” Betancur's ag...

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06.08.2014 @ 08:30 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Even though his current contract with Ag2r-La Mondiale was not due to expire until the end of 2016 season, according to rider’s agent Carlos Betancur will leave the French team by the end of this year, after reaching a mutual agreement.

 

One of the most impressive riders of his generation, Betancur experienced a difficult start to the 2014 season, carrying several additional kilos as a consequence of insufficient preparations during last winter break. The 24-year old Colombian, however, managed to bounce back quicker than anyone would expect, posting first promising results at the Tour Mediterraneen, what was followed by overall victories in the Tour Haut Var and Paris-Nice with three stage wins claimed in the process.

In such circumstances, everything suggested that explosive Colombian would be a revelation of the upcoming Ardennes classics, but since the Paris-Nice his spring campaign was hampered by lingering knee inflammation and illnesses, forcing him out of the Volta a Catalunya, Vuelta al Pais Vasco and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, what was the last race he participated in to date.

 

Betancur was expected to spearhead the Ag2r-La Mondiale line-up for the 101st edition of the Tour de France, but never made it back from Colombia due to obscure reasons. Even though the French squad did exceptionally well in their home grand tour – Jean-Christophe Peraud finished runner-up and Romain Bardet ended up sixth, the controversial absence of the 24-year old certainly helped a mutual agreement on releasing the rider from existing contract by the end of 2014 season.

 

The team revealed that they experienced serious problems with contacting the Colombian during his stay in his home country following unsuccessful Ardennes campaign, and he never made it back from South America to participate in the build-up events towards the Tour de France, what forced Ag2r to rule him out from the event.

 

While bout of cytomegalovirus and difficulties in obtaining a visa were offered as explanations for Betancur’s extended stay in Colombia, rider’s agent suggests that cooperation between the team and 24-year old wasn’t perfect by that time, what eventually forced a decision about parting their ways.

 

“There were some things that weren’t going well with the team, and it was better to change things. But the team has behaved very well in all of this. We’ve reached an agreement with Vincent (Lavenu) and Carlos is leaving the team on friendly terms,” said Acquadro, who added that the Colombian rider will take his time before deciding on his team for 2015.

 

Nonetheless, the Paris-Nice winner is expected to return to action at the Vuelta a Burgos before participating at the Vuelta a Espana –his sole grand tour appearance this season, where he’s going to target stage victories.

 

Betancur’s future in cycling is yet to be decided, and even though Acquadro revealed that several WorldTour squads are interested in signing talented Colombian, it is hard to believe that his latest unprofessional behavior won’t bring a negative effect on his career’s development.

 

“There’s interest from teams but we’re going to see how things go in the races between now and the end of the season. There certainly won’t be any immediate decision,” Acquadro said, with three or four team apparently interested in Betancur and his precious UCI WorldTour ranking points.

 

“His value is the same as before,” Acquadro said. “I don’t think it will have gone up or down on the basis of what’s happened in the last few months.”

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