Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Armstrong comments on Astana's financial situation
While seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong readies himself for the first Giro d'Italia of his career, he spoke of a possible solution to the financial woes facing his Astana team.
"I don't have any concrete answers, but I suspect we can find some funding that would get us from June to the end of the year," Armstrong told the Associated Press. "It could be a combination of people that have a shared interest in Livestrong and want to see Livestrong promoted around the world and believe in what we're doing."
"Maybe the situation gets resolved, and the guys start getting their dough," continued Armstrong. "Otherwise, I think the license ought to be transferred to [team director] Johan [Bruyneel], and we try and start a team in the middle of the season."
Armstrong expressed his frustration with the Kazakh backers of Astana.
"I don't know them, I don't have a personal relationship with them, but I get frustrated," said Armstrong. "These Kazakhs, they don't return phone calls and there's not a lot of clarity about what is going to happen."
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has sent notice that it will withdraw the professional licence from the team if the matter is not quickly resolved.
"I'm only going to say we're aware of the situation and we are in contact with the team and [the Kazakhstan] federation," UCI president Pat McQuaid told the Associated Press. "We're going to wait to see how this develops."