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"I would prefer to do the classics, rest a bit and then do the Tour. The Giro d'Italia this year will be difficult with such a long time trial. On the other hand, it has some demanding finishes where I can do well."

Photo: Sirotti




04.03.2015 @ 12:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After his turbulent 2014 season, Carlos Betancur is eager to return to his best in 2015. Originally set to do the Giro-Vuelta double, the Colombian now hopes to get the chance to make his Tour de France debut.


In 2014, Carlos Betancur was set to be a key contender at the Tour de France after his excellent start to the year at Paris-Nice. However, he fell ill and failed to return to Europe on the planned date, causing a very confusing situation and public frustration for his Ag2r team.


At one point, his agent made it clear that the parties were set to go separate ways but now they have decide to stay together. With Romain Bardet and Jean-Christophe Peraud set to lead the team in the Tour de France, the French team has planned for Betancur to join forces with Domenico Pozzovivo in the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana.


Betancur made his season debut in the Tour de San Luis where he was clearly overvweight and far off the pace. However, he looks to the new season with optimism.


"The birth of my child went well. This year I am very motivated and want to do things right," he told El Tiempo. "Last December we agreed that we will start from scratch. I'm happy with the team and after the problems, good things will come.


"It was easy to resolve the problems. They shared their opinions, I listened to them. They listened to mine and we reached a good agreement.


"I got nervous by Vincent Lavenu's statements as they are the ones who pay me. It was quite uncomfortable because I never expected that to happen, but today we have a good relationship.



"I do not see it as a revenge. For me, 2014 was a good year. I won the Tour du Haut Var and Paris Nice. To win a WorldTour race is a big thing."


Betancur is set to make his European debut next week and until now his schedule seems to have been set in stone. After having learnt about the courses for the grand tours, however, he hopes to be allowed to change things.


"I will do Tirreno Adriatico, the Tour of Catalonia, the Tour of the Basque Country, the classic. Then I don't know whether I will do the Giro or the Tour."


The main reason for his desire to change his plans is the 59km time trial in the Giro.


"It will be difficult for me," he said. "I know that does not help me and so we are looking at doing the classics and the Tour because of the issue of the long time trial in the Giro. In the end, the team will make a decision and I will accept it.

"I would prefer to do the classics, rest a bit and then do the Tour. The Giro d'Italia this year will be difficult with such a long time trial. On the other hand, it has some demanding finishes where I can do well."



Betancur still doesn't know whether he will do the Vuelta.


"It will be difficult if I end up doing the Tour but if I do the Giro, the Iberian race will be a good choice for the second half."



In 2013, Betancur did very well in the classics, finishing third in Fleche Wallonne and in the top 10 in Liege-Bastogne-Liege.


"In the first year, I did pretty well in those races and I want to do better. I want to win Fleche Wallonne but I also like Liege-Bastogne-Liege."


Betancur has also already put his sights on the 2016 Olympics.


"I think it's a good opportunity for me and I will try to be at one hundred percent if I get selected."



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