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Gallery: Stars relax ahead of Amstel Curaçao Race

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Ellen Van Dijk shares a joke with Marcel Kittel in Curacao.

Ellen Van Dijk shares a joke with Marcel Kittel in Curacao.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Ellen Van Dijk in the tug of war.

Ellen Van Dijk in the tug of war.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Joaquim Rodriguez enjoying his break in Curacao.

Joaquim Rodriguez enjoying his break in Curacao.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marcel Kittel takes a dive.

Marcel Kittel takes a dive.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marianne Vos won gold at the Worlds and Olympic Games in 2012.

Marianne Vos won gold at the Worlds and Olympic Games in 2012.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lieuwe Westra soaks up the sun in Curacao.

Lieuwe Westra soaks up the sun in Curacao.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marianne Vos has a go at the tug-of-war in Curacao.

Marianne Vos has a go at the tug-of-war in Curacao.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Niki Terpstra in full flight on the water in Curacao.

Niki Terpstra in full flight on the water in Curacao.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Joaquim Rodriguez cuts himself some slack in the tug-of-war.

Joaquim Rodriguez cuts himself some slack in the tug-of-war.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marcel Kittel will look to make further waves in 2013.

Marcel Kittel will look to make further waves in 2013.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lieuwe Westra swaps bikes for water polo in Curacao.

Lieuwe Westra swaps bikes for water polo in Curacao.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thumbs up if you've been in more pictures than anyone else.

Thumbs up if you've been in more pictures than anyone else.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The stars of the international peloton sample scuba diving in Curacao.

The stars of the international peloton sample scuba diving in Curacao.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Niki Tersptra goes fishing.

Niki Tersptra goes fishing.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marianne Vos in possession.

Marianne Vos in possession.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marianne Vos lines up for the tug of war.

Marianne Vos lines up for the tug of war.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Joaquim Rodriguez sorts out his goggles.

Joaquim Rodriguez sorts out his goggles.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marcel Kittel puts his back into it.

Marcel Kittel puts his back into it.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Joaquim Rodriguez gets ready to take the plunge.

Joaquim Rodriguez gets ready to take the plunge.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The stars of the international peloton have gathered in the Caribbean for the annual Amstel Curaçao Race. Once again, the action gets underway on Thursday with the Jan Thiel Criterium, before the main event on Saturday.

Marcel Kittel emerged victorious last year and the Argos-Shimano fast man is back in Curaçao again in 2012. Among the big names accompanying him are WorldTour winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Chris Froome (Sky) and Niki Tersptra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

Marianne Vos is also on hand in Curacao at the end of a season that saw her cement her status as the greatest women’s rider of her generation by taking a stunning Olympic Games and world championships road race double.

Before saddling up for the racing in the coming days, Vos, Kittel, Rodriguez et al took the time to enjoy the island of Curaçao. For a photo gallery, click here.