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Contador celebrates his 33rd birthday at the Tinkoff-Saxo training camp

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The pace was steady during the 3.5 hour ride

The pace was steady during the 3.5 hour ride
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Alberto Contador follows his teammates

Alberto Contador follows his teammates
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Alberto Contador (Tonkoff-Saxo)

Alberto Contador (Tonkoff-Saxo)
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Thanks to the warm weather in Gran Canaria, the riders train in shorts sleeves

Thanks to the warm weather in Gran Canaria, the riders train in shorts sleeves
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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The Tinkoff-Saxo double line

The Tinkoff-Saxo double line
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Alberto Contador enjoys a joke as Ivan Basso follows him

Alberto Contador enjoys a joke as Ivan Basso follows him
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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The Tinkoff-Saxo riders on a corner

The Tinkoff-Saxo riders on a corner
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Some of the riders hit a climb

Some of the riders hit a climb
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Roman Kreuziger and Peter Sagan ride together

Roman Kreuziger and Peter Sagan ride together
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Alberto Contador celebrates his 33rd birthday on his bike

Alberto Contador celebrates his 33rd birthday on his bike
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Ivan Basso has already lost the look of a trained professional

Ivan Basso has already lost the look of a trained professional
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Pawel Poljanski (Tinkoff-SAxo)

Pawel Poljanski (Tinkoff-SAxo)
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Some bikes were also fitted with video cameras

Some bikes were also fitted with video cameras
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Peter Sagan from behind

Peter Sagan from behind
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Team formation

Team formation
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Peter Sagan's rainbow jersey stands out in the group ride

Peter Sagan's rainbow jersey stands out in the group ride
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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The riders tuck tightly in a double line

The riders tuck tightly in a double line
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)
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Juraj Sagan leads the rider

Juraj Sagan leads the rider
(Image credit: Tinkoff-Saxo)

Alberto Contador celebrated his 33rd birthday on Sunday with his Tinkoff-Saxo teammates in Gran Canaria, doing a three-and-a-half hour training ride on the team’s first day together.

The first ride of the camp was a steady roll through the hills of Gran Canaria, with former rider turned technical coordinator Ivan Basso also in the saddle. World champion Peter Sagan was out on the ride, with his rainbow stripes standing out amongst the bright yellow and blue of the 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo colours. The team is due to unveil a new training kit design later during the camp.

The Tinkoff-Saxo team will stay at the Anfi Tauro resort on the island of Gran Canaria, near the African coast, until December 18. The team has already held a planning camp in late October in Croatia.

Training is expected to follow the traditional routine of three days of intensive riding followed by a rest day. December training camps are considered the foundations for the new season and often the only time the whole team is together due to the non-stop racing programme.

Thanks to sunny conditions and temperatures close to 20C, the Tinkoff-Saxo riders were able to ride in shorts and do intensive training for the new season. The days at the camp begin with a core strengthening session on one of the outdoor tennis courts of the Anfi Tauro resort.

Contador has already confirmed that he plans to retire at the end of 2016 if his season goes to plan and he wins the Tour de France.