The Movistar team has confirmed that Carlos Betancur has signed a contract with them for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, giving the Colombian a chance to relaunch his career after two difficult years at Ag2r-La Mondiale.
The Colombian rider won Paris-Nice in 2014 but has raced infrequently since, struggling to find form and a decent racing weight. He preferred to spend long spells at home in Colombia rather than racing in Europe, putting him in conflict with the Ag2r-La Mondiale team management. He rode the Giro d’Italia in May – finishing 20th overall but was not considered for the Tour de France. He failed to start the Tour of Poland and has not raced since then He reached a mutual agreement to leave the French team in late August and has long been linked to Movistar, where he will join up with fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana and Spaniard Alejandro Valverde.
Betancur is only the third addition to the Movistar roster for 2016. The team has signed neo-pro Jorge Arcas and Portugal's Nelson Oliveira from Lampre-Merida. Riders leading include Beñat Intxausti (to Team Sky) and Eros Capecchi (Astana). Also expected to leave are John Gadet, Igor Anton and Enrique Sanz.
The Ag2r-La Mondiale squad remains largely unchanged for 2016, with Cyril Gautier the only announced arrival so far. Romain Bardet remains team leader after finishing ninth at the Tour de France and winning a stage.