Carlos Betancur hopes to make his Tour de France debut in July, despite originally confirming he was preparing to ride the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España this season.
The Colombian has virtually fallen off the radar since winning Paris-Nice last season, missing the Giro and Tour, and finishing a lowly 158th in the Vuelta due to a reported illness.
In an interview with Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, the 25-year-old admitted this year’s Giro is not particularly suited to his style, with a 59km time trial included. Instead, Betancur suggested he will make the cut for Ag2r-La Mondiale’s Tour squad.
“[The Giro] will be difficult for me,” Betancur said. “I know that does not help me and so we are looking at doing the Classics and the Tour because of the issue of the long time trial in the Giro. In the end, the team will make a decision and I will accept it.
“I would prefer to do the classics, rest a bit and then do the Tour. The Giro d’Italia this year will be difficult with such a long time trial. On the other hand, it has some demanding finishes where I can do well.”
Betancur will not defend his Paris-Nice crown this year, with Ag2r instead taking the Colombian to the hillier Tirreno-Adriatico, where he will support team leader Domenico Pozzovivo. Before that, however, Betancur will line up in Saturday’s Strade Bianche.