Astana Keeps Contador and Gets Approved for ProTour License
Today, the UCI ProTour commission has approved Astana’s registration. This means that they will have a ProTour license for 2010, and that they will be able to retain the two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador. The team almost went under due to late payments this season. The UCI also demanded that they get a bank guarantee of the finances. “Looking forward to the 2010 season, the UCI requested the Kazakh team to provide an additional bank guarantee so that the regrettable situation in 2009 would not be repeated and so that the request for the withdrawal of the Astana licence would not have to be reactivated,” says the communique. “This request is not connected in any way to the registration procedure for UCI ProTeams …but to the request for the withdrawal of the Astana licence that would have to be reactivated if the bank guarantee is not provided. The UCI awaits this bank guarantee and is confident it will be provided soon.” The 2010 Astana team will be backed by state holding company Samruk-Kazyna, and their name may change to show this.