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Amazing Cycling in France For Make Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
CNBC.com | July 08, 2009 | 02:09 PM EDT

The last time you heard of Kazakhstan, it might have been from Borat Sagdiyev, the fictitious Kazakh journalist played by Sasha Baron Cohen in the movie Borat.

Cohen’s racist and sexist performance was an unbelievable hit a couple years ago, yielding $260 million at the box office on an $18 million budget.

While the government of Kazakhstan initially threatened to sue Cohen for his inaccurate portrayal of their country, government leaders eventually backed off when they were convinced that the country did receive a boost from all the publicity associated with the movie.

Today, Kazakhstan is in our face again in the name of Lance Armstrong. Armstrong’s team -– currently competing in the Tour De France -- is backed by Samruk-Kazyna, a holding company that consists of Kazakhstan’s assets and its development fund. The company manages KazMunayGas (gas company), Kazakhstan Temyr Zholy (national railway), Kazpost (national mail), Air Astana (national airline) and ENRC (Eurasian Natural Resources Corp), among others.

The jerseys Armstrong and his teammates wear feature Astana in the middle with the Kazakh flag, Air Astana on the sleeves, Kazakhmys Corporation (mining and metals company) on the shoulder and ENRC down the side.

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