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AG2R-La Mondiale hit the Alps - Gallery

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The team are lucky to have one of the more scenic training camp locations

The team are lucky to have one of the more scenic training camp locations
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Riders set off for a two-hour walk

Riders set off for a two-hour walk
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Pre-hike team photo

Pre-hike team photo
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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The riders try their hand at making rostis

The riders try their hand at making rostis
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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The new recruits introduce themselves

The new recruits introduce themselves
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Turbo time for the riders heading to Tour Down Under

Turbo time for the riders heading to Tour Down Under
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Pierre Latour enjoying himself in the Alps

Pierre Latour enjoying himself in the Alps
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Romain Bardet was one of the first to finish the hike

Romain Bardet was one of the first to finish the hike
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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A spot of gym work

A spot of gym work
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Chef Christophe Aribert shows Bardet and co how it's done

Chef Christophe Aribert shows Bardet and co how it's done
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Can't ignore the core - even in winter

Can't ignore the core - even in winter
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Romain Bardet shows what he can do with a football

Romain Bardet shows what he can do with a football
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Squash was one of the many activities on offer

Squash was one of the many activities on offer
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Swimming was one of the many activities on offer

Swimming was one of the many activities on offer
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Romain Bardet sits down with Cyclingnews as riders meet the media

Romain Bardet sits down with Cyclingnews as riders meet the media
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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The riders coming to the end of their walk

The riders coming to the end of their walk
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Alexis Vuillermoz on the home straight

Alexis Vuillermoz on the home straight
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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There was plenty of snow around for mid-November

There was plenty of snow around for mid-November
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Riders and staff inspect their new bike

Riders and staff inspect their new bike
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Romain Bardet with Factor Bikes co-owner Baden Cooke

Romain Bardet with Factor Bikes co-owner Baden Cooke
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Romain Bardet lifts up the light new Factor O2

Romain Bardet lifts up the light new Factor O2
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Operation Top Chef in full swing

Operation Top Chef in full swing
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Romain Bardet makes his way up the hill

Romain Bardet makes his way up the hill
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Jan Bakelants and Mathias Frank on the hike

Jan Bakelants and Mathias Frank on the hike
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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The riders battle through the snow

The riders battle through the snow
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)
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Chef Christophe Aribert shows Bardet and co how it's done

Chef Christophe Aribert shows Bardet and co how it's done
(Image credit: Yves Perret/YPM)

Romain Bardet set the wheels of his 2017 season in motion this week as the AG2R-La Mondiale team gathered in the French Alps for their first camp of the off-season.

The Tour de France runner-up has been able to indulge his active streak, with cross country skiing, Nordic walking, swimming, and ice skating among the activities on offer for the riders in the small village of Vaujany, not far from Alpe d'Huez.

Despite the relatively early snowfall in the Alps, some riders managed to get out on their bikes – those with an early start to the season at the Tour Down Under – but the camp was an opportunity for the team and its 10 new signings to come together as one for the first time.

The team bonding exercise in question on the first night was dubbed 'Operation Top Chef' – a cooking competition in five teams of six organised by Michelin-starred chef Christophe Aribert. It was the international team of Gediminas Bagdonas, Sondre Holst Enger, Nico Denz, Mathias Frank, and Nans Peters who prevailed, putting a rather questionable looking plate of fish, rosti, and hollandaise in front of the judging panel.

A wine-tasting session followed, with the French riders all bringing a bottle of wine from their region.

Riders spent the day on Monday with the media, and on Tuesday set out on a two-and-a-half hour hike through the mountains, after which they were introduced to their new bike by Factor representatives for the first time.

The team's first proper training camp will take place in December in Gandia, Spain.