The top cyclists in pursuit of tax havens

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As the Tour de France gets underway, Mediapart has examined the way that key figures in the world of cycling minimise their tax payments by putting money earned from image rights into companies based in Cyprus, Switzerland or Luxembourg. Some major names such as the Belgian cyclist Philippe Gilbert and the French star Tony Gallopin have taken advantage of this tax route. Antton Rouget reports.

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The jewel of Kazakh sport is once again taking part in the Tour de France which began in Germany on Saturday July 1st and which will then weaves its way across France until it concludes at Paris on July 23rd. The Astana cycling team – it takes its name from the capital of Kazakhstan – exists to bolster the image of that country's dictatorship. Run by former cyclist Alexander Vinokourov, its team outfit bears the national colours adorned with a badge depicting a steppe eagle beneath an image of the sun.