After 18 months of struggles, Carlos Betancur leaves Ag2r-La Mondiale by mutual consent
The Colombian had signed until the end of 2016, but will now be able to sign for a team for the rest of the 2015 season although his options may be limited by his lack of production in the past 18 months.
Just five months after his Paris-Nice win he finished second to last at the Vuelta a España, more than five hours behind winner Alberto Contador. This after finishing fifth overall in the 2013 Giro d’Italia.
Betancur has struggled with his racing weight in recent years and has reportedly preferred to spend time in Colombia rather than in Europe, like his team suggested.
Ag2r-La Mondiale team manager Vincent Lavenu said in a statement: “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.”
Betancur was recently overlooked for Ag2r’s Vuelta a España squad but looked as if he had rediscovered some form in the last week of the Giro in May.
He got himself in several breakaways and climbed to sixth in the mountains classification, finishing 20th in the general classification.
“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,” he said in the statement.
“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.”