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Discovery Channel begin training in Solvang

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Lance looks pretty happy

Lance looks pretty happy (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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The Discovery Channel presents the 2005 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team in Solvang, CA.

The Discovery Channel presents the 2005 Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team in Solvang, CA. (Image credit: Discovery Channel Cycling Team)
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It's LANCE!

It's LANCE! (Image credit: Discovery Channel Cycling Team)
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Lance Armstrong and Tom Danielson have a chat during one of the training rides.

Lance Armstrong and Tom Danielson have a chat during one of the training rides. (Image credit: Discovery Channel Cycling Team)
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The Discovery team hits the road for the long season ahead.

The Discovery team hits the road for the long season ahead. (Image credit: Discovery Channel Cycling Team)
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Another angle of the team in their new kit complete with the 2005 team Treks.

Another angle of the team in their new kit complete with the 2005 team Treks. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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The Discovery team heads out on one of its first training camp rides of the season in Solvang, CA.

The Discovery team heads out on one of its first training camp rides of the season in Solvang, CA. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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George Hincapie and Michael Barry keep pace in the group.

George Hincapie and Michael Barry keep pace in the group. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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The low 40-degree temperatures offered the team a refreshing first couple of hours in the saddle each morning.

The low 40-degree temperatures offered the team a refreshing first couple of hours in the saddle each morning. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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Heavy rains in southern California made for a vibrant green backdrop against the team's new colors of gray and blue.

Heavy rains in southern California made for a vibrant green backdrop against the team's new colors of gray and blue. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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Manuel Beltran and Jose Luis Rubiera work on their descending skills.

Manuel Beltran and Jose Luis Rubiera work on their descending skills. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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The group powers up one of the many climbs in Southern Cali hill country.

The group powers up one of the many climbs in Southern Cali hill country. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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Similar to a scene from the Tour, the team rides through one of the area vineyards.

Similar to a scene from the Tour, the team rides through one of the area vineyards. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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Ex-mountain bike star Ryder Hesjedal tucks in behind Great Britain's strongman, Roger Hammond, as the group stretches out.

Ex-mountain bike star Ryder Hesjedal tucks in behind Great Britain's strongman, Roger Hammond, as the group stretches out. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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Belgian rider Leif Hoste leads the group on Thursday's ride.

Belgian rider Leif Hoste leads the group on Thursday's ride. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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The team rides through the enchanted forest.

The team rides through the enchanted forest. (Image credit: Jon Devich/Cyclingnews.com/epicimages.us)
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Your Treks are ready, gentlemen

Your Treks are ready, gentlemen (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Van Heeswijk's the name...

Van Heeswijk's the name... (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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The steed of champions

The steed of champions (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Johan Bruyneel was pretty relaxed in Solvang

Johan Bruyneel was pretty relaxed in Solvang (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Antonio Cruz heads out

Antonio Cruz heads out (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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The cockpit for 2005

The cockpit for 2005 (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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The sticker says it all

The sticker says it all (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Ready to rock'n'roll, boys. Manuel Beltran gets into gear.

Ready to rock'n'roll, boys. Manuel Beltran gets into gear. (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Tom Danielson happy to be in Solvang with the Discovery boys

Tom Danielson happy to be in Solvang with the Discovery boys (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Antonio Cruz

Antonio Cruz (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Lance Armstrong and the phone that never sleeps

Lance Armstrong and the phone that never sleeps (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Guess who the sponsor is?

Guess who the sponsor is? (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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All lined up and waiting...

All lined up and waiting... (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Sean Yates talking team, no doubt very busily

Sean Yates talking team, no doubt very busily (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Mike Creed's bike gets some last minute adjustments

Mike Creed's bike gets some last minute adjustments (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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A hive of bikes and bodies as the Discovery boys prepare to ride

A hive of bikes and bodies as the Discovery boys prepare to ride (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Dogs like bikes too!

Dogs like bikes too! (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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A moment's pause before the work begins

A moment's pause before the work begins (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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A quick inspection to check the new rig

A quick inspection to check the new rig (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Armstrong doesn't look too pleased that the hard work's about to begin

Armstrong doesn't look too pleased that the hard work's about to begin (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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The man on everybody's lips

The man on everybody's lips (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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All smiles for Lance Armstrong

All smiles for Lance Armstrong (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Lance looks pretty happy despite the cold

Lance looks pretty happy despite the cold (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Mike Creed contemplates what could be a great 2005

Mike Creed contemplates what could be a great 2005 (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)
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Let's move 'em out!

Let's move 'em out! (Image credit: Steve Dascomb)

News feature, January 14, 2005

After the presentation of the Discovery Channel Team on Monday, it was time to hit the road for pre-season training camp in Solvang, CA. Starting in brisk 7°c temperatures, the team headed off on a four hour training ride, covering some rolling hills to get the legs going.

Lance Armstrong, in the news recently as part of the Sunday Times/LA Confidentiel lawsuit, appeared relaxed and happy to be getting back on the bike with his team, more so than previous years, possibly as a result of winning his record-breaking sixth Tour de France last July.

With new uniforms and a host of new recruits, including American Tom Danielson, it was an opportunity to witness what could be the beginning of another big year for Armstrong and the team formerly known as US Postal. Armstrong relished the opportunity to chat with colleagues new and old, something that was not so apparent in previous years. Danielson seemed to enjoy the time with the squad, as did star recruit Yaroslav Popovych.

At the previous day's photo session, the team joked and appeared a pretty cohesive group - a good sign after the departure of some big names from their ranks and the change of major sponsor. It's down to some hard work for 2005.

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