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Gallery: RadioShack-Nissan-Trek train in Calpe

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Johan Bruyneel will attempt to work the oracle with Andy Schleck in 2012.

Johan Bruyneel will attempt to work the oracle with Andy Schleck in 2012.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Wouter Weylandt remains in the thoughts of his former teammates.

Wouter Weylandt remains in the thoughts of his former teammates.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Last minute adjustments for new arrival Laurent Didier, as he rides a Leopard-branded Trek at the RadioShack-Nissan camp.

Last minute adjustments for new arrival Laurent Didier, as he rides a Leopard-branded Trek at the RadioShack-Nissan camp.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Andy Schleck's full programme ahead of the Tour de France is still to be decided.

Andy Schleck's full programme ahead of the Tour de France is still to be decided.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Andy Schleck sets off for a morning's training in the hinterland of Calpe.

Andy Schleck sets off for a morning's training in the hinterland of Calpe.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Andy Schleck will have access to Andreas Kl

Andy Schleck will have access to Andreas Kl
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Chris Horner and Daniele Bennati chat before the morning's ride.

Chris Horner and Daniele Bennati chat before the morning's ride.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Ready to go? Maxime Monfort was keen to get started.

Ready to go? Maxime Monfort was keen to get started.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Ben Hermans is looking to continue his development in 2012.

Ben Hermans is looking to continue his development in 2012.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Matt Busche in the colours of US champion.

Matt Busche in the colours of US champion.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Tiago Machado may find his opportunities to lead limited by the arrival of the Schlecks.

Tiago Machado may find his opportunities to lead limited by the arrival of the Schlecks.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Ben King is hoping to continue his progress in his second season at WorldTour level.

Ben King is hoping to continue his progress in his second season at WorldTour level.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Maxime Monfort impressed at the Vuelta a Espa

Maxime Monfort impressed at the Vuelta a Espa
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Andreas Klöden has been with Johan Bruyneel since 2008

Andreas Klöden has been with Johan Bruyneel since 2008
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Andreas Klöden was keen to get going

Andreas Klöden was keen to get going
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Fränk and Andy Schleck's bikes are carefully labelled to avoid confusion

Fränk and Andy Schleck's bikes are carefully labelled to avoid confusion
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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A detail from Fränk Schleck's top tube.

A detail from Fränk Schleck's top tube.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Laurent Didier and Ben Hermans stock up for the morning ahead.

Laurent Didier and Ben Hermans stock up for the morning ahead.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Tour of Lombardy winner Oliver Zaugg in Calpe.

Tour of Lombardy winner Oliver Zaugg in Calpe.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Fränk Schleck led the first group on its training ride.

Fränk Schleck led the first group on its training ride.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Fränk Schleck gets ready to hit the road.

Fränk Schleck gets ready to hit the road.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Last adjustments for Fränk Schleck.

Last adjustments for Fränk Schleck.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Andreas Klöden gets ready for the day ahead.

Andreas Klöden gets ready for the day ahead.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Daniele Bennati is part of the new RadioShack-Nissan-Trek set-up.

Daniele Bennati is part of the new RadioShack-Nissan-Trek set-up.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Maxime Monfort and his new DS Alain Gallopin pictured in Calpe.

Maxime Monfort and his new DS Alain Gallopin pictured in Calpe.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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Fränk Schleck sets off.

Fränk Schleck sets off.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)
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The Leopard Trek Continental team was also on hand in Calpe.

The Leopard Trek Continental team was also on hand in Calpe.
(Image credit: Barry Ryan)

Silent season in Calpe. In high summer, the Spanish resort is noisily overrun by sunburnt northern European tourists, but in winter it is the preserve of professional cyclists, who descend rather more discreetly upon the coastal town they forgot to shut down, in search of warm weather training miles on the rolling hills that lie inland.

Leading this year’s throng of pilgrims to one of the holy places of pre-season preparation is the new RadioShack-Nissan-Trek outfit, formed following the merger of the RadioShack and Leopard Trek squads. The honeymoon suite for their hastily arranged nuptials is at the Diamante Beach Hotel, tucked discreetly back from the seafront.

Just days into the relationship, the smiles are broad as riders click-clack from the lobby and into the parking lot ahead of the morning’s training ride, and multi-lingual banter soon fills the still December air. Andreas Klöden jokes with Fränk Schleck, Chris Horner makes small talk with Daniele Bennati, while Jakob Fuglsang is locked in conversation with his new directeur sportif Alain Gallopin.

Shortly after ten o’clock, the Schleck brothers lead the first wave of riders away from the hotel, in the company of Klöden, Horner and Oliver Zaugg, with all riders in their 2011 kit but aboard Trek bikes in Leopard livery. A second peloton including American champion Matt Busche and Hayden Roulston follows a little while later, before the Leopard Trek Continental team sets off after a short briefing from manager Adriano Baffi.

The only absentee from the day's session is Fabian Cancellara, stricken by flu and confined to his hotel room after a weekend visit to London to reconnoitre the Olympic time trial and road courses in the company of manager Johan Bruyneel.

“We ride in three groups because otherwise it’s just too big on the road, and we change the groups every day,” Andy Schleck explains later on. “Most of the guys I knew before, but now you really get time at the table in the evening to know the others better.”

Even at this reserve from the madding crowds of summer, Schleck remains a man in perennial demand. When he pauses to speak with Bruyneel shortly before the morning's ride, the loose string of photographers suddenly tightens around them to capture the moment for posterity, the meeting of the would-be Eternal Second with the man who says he might as well win. Time will tell what kind of dividend their union pays.

For a full gallery from the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek training camp, click here.