Cash injection and name change for Astana team
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Cash injection and name change for Astana team

by Conal Andrews at 9:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

With today being the final deadline of submission of documents to the UCI, the backers of the Astana team have pledged €15 million ($22 million) to the team for the 2010 season.

"Samruk-Kazyna (state holding) has provided UCI with a guarantee of financial backing worth euro15 million ($22 million) for this season," Kazakh Cycling Federation deputy president Nikolai Proskurin said, according to AP.

In addition to that, he said that approximately $3.7 million has been transferred this week to the paying agency that handles team salaries. The UCI confirmed in recent days that there had been delays in payment of wages in recent weeks, so this lodgement should cover those costs.

The team will be hoping that it gets a green light in the coming days from the UCI to continue in the ProTour next season. Alberto Contador confirmed yesterday that he will stay put, providing it retains the licence.

According to reports in the Italian media, the name of the team will change to Samruk Kazyna in 2010.

In addition, the sponsoring company’s chairman Kairat Kelimbetov has been named as head of the country's cycling federation.

Proskurin said that the team is planning further ahead. He stated that it is in talks with an Italian telecommunications company for an additional sponsorship deal, and that it is interested in signing Ivan Basso for 2011. He claims a number of high-profile riders have been in contact, expressing an interest in riding with the Kazakh team.

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