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Hushovd, Cunego and Nibali enjoy a last night out

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The riders pose for a group photograph with the Miss Ciclismo contenders

The riders pose for a group photograph with the Miss Ciclismo contenders
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali arrives in the Hummer limo

Vincenzo Nibali arrives in the Hummer limo
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Gilberto Simoni got a special applause after his retirement

Gilberto Simoni got a special applause after his retirement
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cunego raises and the Carera brothers make a toast to the 2011 season

Cunego raises and the Carera brothers make a toast to the 2011 season
(Image credit: Bobby Julich)
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Franco Pellizotti has cut his blonde curls

Franco Pellizotti has cut his blonde curls
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali on stage

Vincenzo Nibali on stage
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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World champion Thor Hushovd

World champion Thor Hushovd
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thor Hushovd gives an interview

Thor Hushovd gives an interview
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thor Hushovd arrives at the party

Thor Hushovd arrives at the party
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Inside the Hummer limo

Inside the Hummer limo
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The riders in the limo

The riders in the limo
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Nibali and Hushovd arrive at the party

Nibali and Hushovd arrive at the party
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

With the Tour Down Under less than six weeks away, it is time to step up the training for the new season. But before things get serious, some riders enjoyed a final night out clubbing at the annual party organised by Italian agents Alex and Jonny Carera, Sprint magazine produced by Italian photographer Roberto Bettini and he Virtual Image advertising agency.

Some of the professional riders arrived in a stretch limousine, with world champion Thor Hushovd the star of the show. He travelled directly from the first Garmin-Cervelo training camp in the Cayman Islands, swapping the sun and sand of the Caribbean for the cold of northern Italy.

During the evening Gilberto Simoni got a special applause after retiring during the 2010 season.

Also at the party were Vuelta Espana winner Vincenzo Nibali, Damiano Cunego, Diego Ullisse, Leonardo Bertagnolli and Francesco Chicchi. Franco Pellizotti was also at the party. He is still waiting to hear if the UCI will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision of the Italian anti-doping authorities to clear him of a Biological Passport violation.

All the riders work with the Carera brothers, who represent a total of 80 athletes in cycling, skiing and motor racing.

Some of the riders were party of the jury that selected the 2010 Miss Ciclismo, an annual beauty pageant.