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Astana team in 2010 ProTour

Alberto Contador’s Astana team is registered to race on the International Cycling Union’s ProTour calendar of events next year.


The UCI approved the Kazakh-backed team’s 2010 season entry but still wants assurances that Astana can meet its budget.

“The UCI awaits this bank guarantee and is confident it will be provided soon,” the governing body said in a statement.

Contador weighed up departure

Contador, the 2009 Tour de France champion, was expected to leave if Astana was excluded.

The oil-rich Kazakhstan government has said it will back Astana’s total budget for next year, a pledge worth $US22 million ($A23.94 million).

Some riders not paid

Astana riders went without some paychecks last season when Contador and Lance Armstrong were teammates.

Armstrong rode without a salary and has since set up his own United States-based team, RadioShack.

“The UCI requested (Astana) to provide an additional bank guarantee so that the regrettable situation in 2009 would not be repeated,” it said.

Financial security

Failure to provide that financial security would “reactivate” a request to the UCI’s ProTour Council for Astana’s racing license to be withdrawn, the UCI said.

Astana’s registration brings the total to 17 teams – including RadioShack and the new Sky team from Britain – that have been accepted for next season.

Lampre Farnese Vini refused entry

The ProTour’s council decided on Wednesday to refuse the registration of Italian team Lampre Farnese Vini featuring star rider Damiano Cunego.

The reason for the refusal was not disclosed.

The UCI’s License Commission will next consider Lampre’s future.

ProTour schedule

ProTour teams commit to ride in 16 stage races and one-day events next season, including the Dauphine Libere in France and Amstel Gold race in the Netherlands.

These top-tier teams can expect invitations to signature races like the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, and one-day classics such as the Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo.