Betancur was under contract until the end of the 2016 season but is now free to find a new team for the remaining part of the 2015 season and next season.
25 year-old Betancur won five races since joining the French team in 2013, including Paris-Nice and the Tour du Haut Var in 2014. He was also best young rider and fifth overall at the 2013 Giro d’Italia and seemed to have a great career ahead of him. However, he has struggled to find his best form and racing weight in recent times, preferring to ignore team orders and spend long spells at home in Colombia. He rode the Giro d’Italia in May, finishing a modest 20th overall but has not raced since then and was overlooked for a place in the Ag2r-La Mondiale squad for the Vuelta a Espana.
“After several months, during which we have been unable to find a solution to help Carlos Betancur reach the same level of performance that allowed him to win Paris-Nice in 2014, we have decided, in agreement with the rider, to end our partnership. We come away with the memory of an endearing young man and a top-level rider whom we wish a successful future career,” Ag2r-La Mondiale team manager Vincent Lavenu said in a statement from the team.
Betancur, who recently returned to his base in Tuscany with his young family after a long spell in Colombia, was equally diplomatic in the statement.
“I would like to thank the Ag2r-La Mondiale team for its professionalism, trust, and support over the course of the past three seasons, during which I have experienced some fantastic sporting moments. We have reached the conclusion that I need to make a change in order to pursue my career, and I am happy that we’ve been able to reach an agreement so that I can get a new start for another team.”
It is not clear if Betancur has offers from other teams for the remaining part of the 2015 season or for the 2016 season and beyond.