June 19th, 09. In a statement issued early this morning, Astana announced that their team financial problems have been resolved and the team's future is back on track.
"It was hardly imaginable that our strong Team would not have been able to participate in the world's largest cycling event." Bruyneel
The statement says Astana Cycling Team Manager Johan Bruyneel reached an agreement with the license holder, the Kazakh Cycling Federation (KCF).
A meeting between Johan Bruyneel, the managing company of Olympus SARL and KCF resolved the financial issues that had put in doubt Astana's ability to ride the Tour de France.
All parties reached a mutual and written agreement, which gives riders and staff of the Team sufficient guarantees for the operation and functioning of the Team for the remainder of the season. The mutual agreement resolves the financial difficulties the team has endured since April 2009.
By June 10th KCF paid off its debts to Olympus and the promises made by the Kazakh government are fully guaranteed.
Manager Johan Bruyneel is pleased that the team can once again focus on racing.
"I appreciate everyone's patience and professionalism during this difficult time and support of the program. With only 16 days left to the Tour de France, the riders need rest in their minds," he said.
"We are glad that we can continue with our strong Team. It was hardly imaginable that our strong Team would not have been able to participate in the world's largest cycling event."
"Thanks to the guarantees made by the Kazakh government, we can continue with the same group that already proved in the past to be a real Team. We look forward to the next races."
"For us it will be a new start, but it will look familiar. This is the best solution. The Kazakh government showed that - despite the economical crisis - they really want to invest in cycling. They succeeded to find funds. We will not disappoint them. We look forward to representing our sponsor family with pride."