Astana Pro Team are a Kazakh professional cycling team named after their capital city, sponsored by Samruk-Kazyna. Considerably new to the cycling world, the Astana Pro Team was first inaugurated in 2006 and was known as the Liberty Seguros-Würth team. In the aftermath of a doping scandal, the team decided it was time for a refresh, and a re-brand, it was then the Astana Pro Team was born. Astana have never been short of big names, with Lance Armstrong putting in a stint with the team in 2009. The current line up looks strong ahead of the 2014 season, with riders such as Italians Valerio Agnoli, Vincenzo and Fabio Aru. A financial crisis hit the club in May 2009, after the team announced that it had not been able to pay the riders after the Kazakh crisis. Experienced riders such as Armstrong understood and sympathised with Astana Pro Team, but many of it’s younger riders were left slightly confused and alienated just days before the Giro d’Italia.