Colombian looking for stage wins at Vuelta a España
Carlos Betancur says that he is still undecided about his future after it was announced earlier this month that he had reached an agreement to end his contract with AG2R-La Mondiale.
Despite having two more years to run on his contract, Betancur decided to move away from the French team. He has been linked with a move to Omega Pharma-QuickStep, but says that nothing has been confirmed. "I can finish with AG2R, but cycling for Carlos Betancur in Europe is open," he said enigmatically to BiciCiclismo
"We are just beginning. I am still very young and I am gaining confidence in world cycling. I have shown that I have won one-day races, stage races and in the Giro (2013) I was quite good. In this team or another team, with the help of God, there will be Betancur for a lot longer."
Betancur has been out of action since April and made an inauspicious return to racing, at the Vuelta a Burgos. The Colombian rider finished more than five minutes down on the race winner Juan José Lobato on stage one. Day 2 went a little better, as he minimised his losses to 13 seconds and he is glad to be back in the mix.
"For me, what I like is the bike. There have been a lot of comments, even by my own team, but I've come to race, to do what I like and to enjoy it."
A tricky year
The Vuelta a Burgos is Betancur's first race since Flèche Wallonne, where he finished a disappointing 36th. He was due to ride Liège-Bastogne-Liège but didn't start the race, citing bronchitis. He returned to Colombia and was set to come back to Europe for the Tour de Suisse, however he failed to make his flight.
Betancur was eventually diagnosed with the cytomegalovirus, which spelled the end of his Tour de France - where he was due to lead the team in his debut at the race. While he was disappointed to miss out on the Tour, Betancur also admitted that he was lucky to return to racing this season.
"There are some who can take a year to recover from it and I took three months to beat it and return to competition," he said. "In normal conditions I would have arrived at the Tour really well, in optimum condition but that is cycling and these things happen."
Things have been tense between Betancur and the team, with his team manager Vincent Lavenu telling L'Équipe earlier this season that, "He's an incredible talent but he's very difficult to manage… He needs to get back on track if he wants to have a great career.”
In the interview Betancur had a dig back at his team saying, "I think that I am one of the few on this team that races to win."
Betancur is currently building up towards the Vuelta a España. With his form as it is, Betancur is targeting stage victories and hopes he can use the race to finish his season off with a bang.
"In the final week I hope to be good, I will try to do something. I am looking for a stage or maybe my condition will get better," he explained. "With the Vuelta a Burgos and the Vuelta a España, I hope to be good for the Worlds, Lombardia and China."
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