Acqua & Sapone and Liquigas-Cannondale in tug-o-war over Carlos Alberto Betancur
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Acqua & Sapone and Liquigas-Cannondale in tug-o-war over Carlos Alberto Betancur

by Ben Atkins at 2:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
22-year-old Colombian climber in demand from both teams who both claim they have contracts

carlos alberto betancurCarlos Alberto Betancur is at the centre of a tug-o-war between his current Acquq & Sapone team and ProTeam Liquigas-Cannondale, both of whom are laying claim to his signature, according to The 22-year-old Colombian, who won the Giro dell’Emilia earlier in the month, has signed a new contract with Liquigas-Cannondale, according to la Gazzetta dello Sport, but Acqua & Sapone claims that the three year deal he signed with the Abruzzo team last year is still valid.

Betancur (whose name is sometimes spelled Betancour, or Betancourt) is in agreement with his existing team, as he stated in a letter to the Italian media yesterday.

“This morning, reading an article on the Gazzetta dello Sport, I learned that I left the Acqua & Sapone for racing with Liquigas in 2012,” he wrote. “This condition is not true.

“I have a three-year contract with the Acqua & Sapone, which expires in 2013, and it is my firm intention to respect it and continue to ride with the Company.”

The Colombian admits that he has put pen to paper with the WorldTour team, but claims that a clause in that contract makes it valid only in the event of his current team folding at the end of this year.

“In fact last summer I signed a contract with Liquigas,” he wrote, “but it was conditional on the non-participation of the Acqua & Sapone in the 2012 season, and received assurances to that effect from [Liquigas-Cannondale manager] Roberto Amadio, who reiterated that the contract would not have value if the Acqua & Sapone participated in the season.”

Amadio though, claims to have no recollection of any such condition in the contract between his team and the Colombian rider, writing his own open letter today to put his point across.

“In reference to the amazing statements made by the rider Carlos Alberto Betancur and the press release issued by the Acqua & Sapone team, Liquigas Sport aims to reaffirm the accuracy and linearity of its actions,” the acid-green and blue team wrote. “Betancur has signed a contract with Liquigas Sport for the provision of professional cyclist, completely devoid of any precedent condition or termination due to the participation of the Acqua & Sapone team the next season.

“Moreover, the rider has confirmed that he is free from any contractual obligation with anyone, and his agent – also signing the contract in accordance with UCI regulations – has confirmed the position.”

With Betancur and Acqua & Sapone insisting that the rider will stay where he is, and Liquigas-Cannondale apparently demanding that he joins it next season, it is difficult to see where this will end. While his Liquigas-Cannondale contract may be legally binding, it is difficult to imagine a rider performing for a team that he does not want to join.


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