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  • Andy B

    Im curious as to what his weight when he was considered overweight?
    And what his ideal weight is
    Would be great to see him continue, obviously someone with a lot of talent

    • Decklund

      I think i saw somewhere he can get up to 90 kilos at his biggest (this was a rumour, i would be surprised if he even got into the 80s at his height). His lightest would have been at the 2013 Giro but i’m not sure what his weight was there but PCS lists him at 65, which could very well be his lightest but he definitely hasn’t been near that in a while.

      • Andy B

        90kg! wow that’s huge for his height

      • neg

        A pro rider of his size and being a climber, he would be more like 58kg at his best

  • Lach

    You know when you’re reading an article, and it stops? And you’re like “surely that’s not it!”. That happened. Carlos Betancur sure is interesting, and Fran sure does a good job of keeping the reader engaged. I hope there’s another instalment in the future. (And hopefully a positive one!)

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Hopefully he gives us more to write about at the Giro!

    • Alex

      Yep! The whole intriuge with Betancur is why he disapeared, and didn’t show up for things, the only explanation here is a quote saying it’s ‘beyond logic’…! Was hoping for a little more..

  • velocite

    “Now I have only seven kilos of excess”? Seven? Surely that can’t be right.

    • Decklund

      Do you think he is further than 7 or less than 7 from his ideal weight?

      • velocite

        Well, an extra 7 kilos is an extra bike. It amazes me that anyone could hack LBL with that much fat on him. Of course everybody knows that Carlos tends to overweight, but I thought we’d be talking a couple of kilos at most. Now I’m wondering how much Jan Ullrich carried at the beginning of a season..

        • Decklund

          Ullrich would gain over 10 kilos. They are so cut down at their racing weights that it is very easy for them to balloon up once they stop racing. Froome is probably mid 70’s in the off season and high 60’s at the tour. Wiggins is mid 80’s at track weight and 70 or just under when he was winning the tour.

          • Stewie Griffin

            Ullrich was 64 when he came in second in 1996 & won in 1997. He would get over 80 and never cut it all away again.
            Wiggins said in 2013, he would be 8 kg’s heavier than when he won the Tour in 2012, by the world champs the next year in 2014. He was 72 kg when he won in California, by deduction his weight at the tour would have been around 64 kg, which is extreme. Now he’s at the other end again pushing it at 84 kg. Safe to say, he’s quite obsessed with weight. I believe Froome is in the mid 60’s as well, his numbers otherwise don’t add up. If he is pushing 420 watt at 68 kg, he would be producing less watts/kg than Thibau Pinot who’s 64 kg’s and pushes around 415 watt over 20 minutes (strava data) and he can’t follow (except for Alpe d’Huez of course).

            Concerning Betancur, remarkable story to say the least..

            • Saeba R.

              Yes, but in Wiggins case part of the mass is muscle. With Carlos 7kg statement it may have simply just been misinterpreted or lost in translation…

              • Stewie Griffin

                Again, by deduction, if he is 7 kg’s over weight now and he won paris nice with 5 kg’s overweight,he’s only 2 kg’s overweight of winning form. It would be so much easier if they would tell the world how the cookie crumbles instead of deducting and assuming, goddamned :)

    • Matt DeMaere

      That quote could also be lost in translation and what he meant was carrying 7kgs of weight that is not lean body mass. Or, somewhere around the 10% mark in body fat.

      • velocite

        I think you might have nailed it Matt – fat at 10% body weight would be very acceptable.

  • J Evans

    “Now I only have seven kilos of excess,” Betancur himself says. “So I’m where a professional cyclist has to be.” Really? Seven kilos overweight is what he considers ideal?

    I suspect – and I sincerely hope I’m wrong, because he’s clearly a great talent – that he’ll go through the usual process after the Giro. People rarely change.

    If he doesn’t and he stays focused, he could be in with a shot at the Vuelta – assuming he doesn’t do the Tour – although he’ll probably have to support Valverde.

    The article doesn’t provide anything new on why he behaves as he does. But then I suppose Betancur isn’t going to share that.

    • Indeed, he gives no explanation.
      I’ve formally interviewed him twice.
      Before the 2014 Vuelta, all he said was: “I don’t care about weight, because I gain and lose it easily”.
      For this article, when inquired about being blatantly overweight in November, his answer was: “Well, my contract was signed to late and I didn’t have enough time to train before the first training camp”. Yes, Movistar officially announced he was joining the team on late October. Thing is word was around (and pretty much confirmed by insiders) by mid August.
      I asked Betancur’s coach too about his overweight. With a knowing laugh, he answered: “Overweight happens when a person ingests more calories than he spends”.
      So I guess the best way to put it is Péraud’s: “Il est hors de logique”.

      • J Evans

        Thanks for the reply: I guess only Carlos knows.

      • Singular Sam

        Just looking at him now I would guess he means 7kg of body fat, so around 10%, which is probably on the upper end of normal for a pro cyclist but not so much as to be uncompetitive.

    • Decklund

      I think he is 7 away from his ideal climbing weight. He is obviously still a very competent professional cyclist at the weight he is now, When he is heavy he is actually pretty quick at sprinting on the flat. I guess he struggles to motivate himself to lose what he needs to because he is in the enviable position of being able to win bike races while overweight.

    • The Potato Man

      Maybe this is a reference to his body fat weight (total weight- lean body mass). Essentially the mass all of the fat in his body. That would give him a body fat percentage of around 10%. Probably in the upper range of a pro cyclist . . . ?

      • I’d say he was speaking of being 7kg above his ideal weight, plain and simple. Bear in mind I spoke at length with him before Vuelta a Castilla y León – he is probably in better shape now, after +20 days of training and racing.

  • Love those Gruver images

  • Il_falcone

    Seeing him in the 2013 Giro I thought Betancur was a “natural born killer”. And I still think that. A freak of nature kind of talent like Jan Ullrich was. Often, well actuall not often because they are a very rare breed, but most of them tend to be lazy. Jan was. Success in cycling came easy for him. I knew some of his very close fellows with whom he shared a big house in Hamburg when they had just grown up to race in the amateur ranks. Their stories about how little he had to train (but eat lots of ice cream instead) and still be untouchable for them (and everyone else in Germany) sounded incredible but they were true.
    Somehow this experience leads to problems once it becomes more demanding for them for whatever reason. And it also doesn’t help if they coming from a rather poor family at some point can do or buy things they couldn’t afford before when they have got their first pro contract and earned their first wins. They can get detracted easily also because they never needed to train much.
    I really hope for Carlos that he has found the right environment at Movistar setting him back on the tracks. Then we will surely see more stunning things of this guy. His performance at LBL was very promising. For our sake as spectators I also hope they don’t succeed in teaching him how to race too smart. His bold style is what makes it so much fun to watch him. I’m looking forward to a duel Betancur vs. Landa in the Giro 2017.

    • velocite

      That all sounds very insightful, good post. We’ll watch with interest..

  • Galinho Salonica

    Very nice to read a success story like that… Hopefully he will shine and stay focused…. Go Carlos!!!

  • Grant Headley

    Nice article Fran, cyclingtips is distinguishing itself above the noise.

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    Too bad they can’t mandate a minimum body fat percentage. The sport is plagued with anorexia, bulimia and abuse of pharmaceutical weight-loss agents while too many racers look like escapees from a concentration camp at the end of a Grand Tour. At this level, cycling’s far from a healthy activity.

  • Andres Slack

    Betancur is possibly the most talented Colombian rider of his generation (i.e., more talented than Quintana, Chavez, or Gaviria!) however, he has inner demons that will probably forever sabotage his cycling career. He is seemingly unable to humble himself sufficiently to take orders from team managers, and has some kind of self-destructive impulse that results in things like the overweight situation mentioned in the article and not showing up for training (literally simply not showing up for days or weeks!!!).
    I wish with all my heart that he proves me wrong, but I’m waiting on pins and needles for his next self-destructive episode.


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