python said:good questions and i don’t know if we will ever know the answers. my best guess would be that astana internally had undergone a severe existential crisis the full extent of which has not been reported.
when armstrong announced formation of his own team it was the lowest point for kcf. no one was in charge. the fed president former defense minister and a major force behind all things was (and still is) cripplingly sick. this coincided with his loss of political power as well. the proskurin guy talks a lot but he’s useless in bargaining for any riders if astana could not even pay salaries. on the top of it they were growing dissatisfied with their dutch council who was pushing de rooy for the general manager position. vino did not want him.
altogether it looks like they lost a chunk of time because of their internal management and financial crisis. i am speculating vinokourov once again stepped to the plate and mended things...and that's when the uci got worried.
Well I'm glad someone did. If AC has to stay at Astana, the least they can do is try to field a competitive team for 2010 (and I'm not just talking about the TdF).