After a four-month absence, Carlos Betancur (Movistar) is due to return to racing at the Coppa Sabatini at the end of September, according to the Argentinian website ciclismointernacional.com. It is likely that the Giro dell'Emilia - which he won in 2011 - Milan-Turin, Gran Piemonte and Il Lombardia will also feature on his calendar.
Betancur hasn't raced since abandoning the Giro d'Italia in May, but he has been training in the Pyrenees since returning to Europe earlier this week. On Tuesday, the Colombian posted a picture from the town of Urepel on the border between France and Spain as he trained.
When he first arrived on the professional scene, Betancur came with a lot of promise having finished second at the 2009 under-23 World Championship road race. In 2013, he finished fifth overall at the Giro d'Italia and claimed the white jersey of best young rider. However, in recent years, Betancur's career has been marked by long absences from racing.
His time with AG2R-La Mondiale began to unravel in 2014 with a lacklustre end to the season, but things got worse the following year. After completing the Giro d'Italia, where he finished 20th overall, he went home to Colombia. He had been due to return for the Tour de Pologne in August 2015, but he did not arrive at the race.
Betancur's contract with AG2R-La Mondiale was soon ended, and he signed with Movistar. Aside from the team photos from the training camp, it would be a long time until fans would get a chance to see Betancur in Movistar colours. It wasn't until March and Milan-San Remo that he did, finally, get his season underway.
It was an inauspicious start to the year with a DNF at San Remo followed by three more. Things began to pick up in April, however, with a victory on the opening stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon. He backed that up with another win the following month at the Vuelta Asturias. Despite making it into a number of breaks, Betancur was unable to rediscover his success at the Giro d'Italia in May, and he would eventually abandon on stage 19.
Betancur still has a year to run on his contract with the Movistar team and at just 26 he still has time to rekindle the form of his early career.
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