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Gallery: Contador and Saxo Bank train in Israel

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Riis pushes his riders to the limit but clearly knows how to have fun

Riis pushes his riders to the limit but clearly knows how to have fun
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Saxo Bank Sungard team was first off.

The Saxo Bank Sungard team was first off.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alberto Contador takes a dip in the sea. Look how happy he is

Alberto Contador takes a dip in the sea. Look how happy he is
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jaroslaw Marycz shows off his guns

Jaroslaw Marycz shows off his guns
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riis gets into it while Contador decides to give things a miss

Riis gets into it while Contador decides to give things a miss
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Saxo Bank team hit the roads for some warm weather training

The Saxo Bank team hit the roads for some warm weather training
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Perhaps not the wisest off season activity for a rider but Contador puts in good shift

Perhaps not the wisest off season activity for a rider but Contador puts in good shift
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riis has put all his faith in Alberto Contador

Riis has put all his faith in Alberto Contador
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Contador and his teammates clear the site before the building is started

Contador and his teammates clear the site before the building is started
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Hundreds of locals turned out to meet Contador

Hundreds of locals turned out to meet Contador
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Contador used the good weather to good effect

Contador used the good weather to good effect
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador gets to work on building

Alberto Contador gets to work on building
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riis and Contador talk about the day's training for Saxo Bank

Riis and Contador talk about the day's training for Saxo Bank
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador does his bit to help the community

Alberto Contador does his bit to help the community
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Contador presents a signed jersey to the President of Israel

Contador presents a signed jersey to the President of Israel
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

The President of Israel, Shimon Peres, personally thanked Bjarne Riis, Alberto Contador and Team Saxo Bank for their help towards peace in the Middle East.  The Danish team has gathered for a training camp in Israel under the motto “Cycling for Peace.”

Saxo Bank last week built and opened a cycling school in Acre for Jewish and Muslim children, in cooperation with the Shimon Peres Center for Peace.  In response, Peres met with the team on Tuesday to thank them.

“The fact is, when their talk about sports, then the Israelis and Arabs can easily work and play together,” Peres told sporten.tv2.dk.

Riis was moved by the meeting with the 88-year-old Peres. “It is something unique we have helped to create here. And to meet with the Israeli president, it is big. Really big. It can not be compared with any sport. It must not, but this is something we will never forget. "

Peres also helped celebrate Alberto Contador's 29th birthday, giving him a small present and leading a chorus of “Happy Birthday”.

For a photo gallery of their camp, click here.