Astana's financial future no longer in doubt
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Astana's financial future no longer in doubt

by Nick Mulder at 4:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

The future of the Astana cycling team has been guaranteed after Samruk-Kazyna, Kazakhstan’s holding company that includes oil company Kazmunaigas and airliner Air Astana, have signed a three year sponsorship deal.

Nikolai Proskurin, Vice President of the Kazakh Cycling Federation announced the deal to the Associated press on Monday stating, "They will be the general sponsor and will take all the expenditures upon themselves."

Whether reigning Tour de France champion Albert Contador will stay with the team is not yet certain and will likely revolve around whether the can retain their ProTour license. The UCI currently has the team’s application under review, and has required a new management structure and funding guarantees before the license will be renewed.

The team has encountered several financial problems in the past. The situation came to a head during the Giro d’Italia when Astana riders, including seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, protested their missing salary payments by fading the names of the delinquent sponsors from their jerseys.


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