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Astana hanging on financially

Susan Westemeyer
June 02, 2009, 2:28 BST,
June 02, 2009, 3:32 BST
USA's Levi Leipheimer of Team Astana is a hot favourite

USA's Levi Leipheimer of Team Astana is a hot favourite

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Will Armstrong's squad make the Tour de France?

Team Astana survived its Sunday deadline from the International Cycling Union (UCI) to get its money affairs in order, but the problems haven't been fully resolved yet.

"The financial woes that left salaries unpaid are not completely resolved," Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel said in a written statement. "Moreover, the UCI now wants more guarantees about the team for the rest of the year.

"The best solution is that we can continue with our current structure. I expect that we will have a team at the start of the Tour de France."

In the coming weeks Astana is scheduled to ride the Tour of Luxembourg, Dauphine Libéré and Tour of Switzerland.

"I am hopeful and confident that we can ride those races," Bruyneel said.

Riders and staff have apparently not been paid the full amount, if at all, for the past two months. The team at the Giro d'Italia protested by creating and wearing new jerseys which de-emphasised the logos of those sponsors who have not paid up.

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