Armstrong’s Cycling Team Gets Funds, Will Race Tour de France
June 18. Bloomberg
By Alex Duff
The Astana cycling team that Lance Armstrong rides for resolved its financial problems and will take part in next month’s Tour de France.
The Kazakh Cycling Federation paid off remaining debts to the team last week, Astana said in a statement. Riders were owed money after funding from public and private Kazakhstan companies that bankroll the team dried up, leaving it at risk of losing its racing license.
“The Kazakhstan government showed that – despite the economic crisis – they really want to invest in cycling,” team manager Johan Bruyneel said in the statement. “They succeeded to find funds. We will not disappoint them.”
Armstrong, who doesn’t take a salary from the team that has a budget of more than $20 million, and Bruyneel began exploring other funding options including starting their own outfit after the financial problems began in April.
The team’s future until the end of the year in now secured, the statement said.
The Astana team, which also includes 2007 Tour champion Alberto Contador, is stronger than any of Armstrong’s previous teams, according to Bruyneel.
The 37-year-old Texan, a seven-time Tour de France winner, came out of retirement in January after more than three years out of racing.