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Photo gallery: the Tour de France team presentation

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Alberto Contador looking distraught over the crowd's boos

Alberto Contador looking distraught over the crowd's boos
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Robert Gesink and the horse he didn't ride in on.

Robert Gesink and the horse he didn't ride in on.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thor Hushovd and Garmin-Cervelo really got into the spirit of things at the Tour de France presentation.

Thor Hushovd and Garmin-Cervelo really got into the spirit of things at the Tour de France presentation.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Rabobank enters the arena

Rabobank enters the arena
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler came in all Gladiator-style

Thomas Voeckler came in all Gladiator-style
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) bleached his hair for the Tour.

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) bleached his hair for the Tour.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek) didn't have to change his kit after his national championships

Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek) didn't have to change his kit after his national championships
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Liquigas Cannondale team lines up

The Liquigas Cannondale team lines up
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Andy Schleck and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek)

Andy Schleck and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard)

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) has a new 'do for the Tour

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) has a new 'do for the Tour
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The BMC team arrives in a jalopy

The BMC team arrives in a jalopy
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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BMC's ride was a bit "distinctive"

BMC's ride was a bit "distinctive"
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Leopard Trek arrives in a carriage

Leopard Trek arrives in a carriage
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Katusha team

The Katusha team
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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RadioShack rarin' to go

RadioShack rarin' to go
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The BMC team lines up

The BMC team lines up
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Saxo Bank Sungard poses outside the "arena"

Saxo Bank Sungard poses outside the "arena"
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Katusha at center stage

Katusha at center stage
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Euskaltel-Euskadi squad is escorted by ... uhh... medieval knights?

The Euskaltel-Euskadi squad is escorted by ... uhh... medieval knights?
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Lampre-ISD is trotted out for the crowd

Lampre-ISD is trotted out for the crowd
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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New Swiss road champion Fabian Cancellara

New Swiss road champion Fabian Cancellara
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Cadel Evans (BMC)

Cadel Evans (BMC)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Andreas Klöden (RadioShack) and Levi Leipheimer

Andreas Klöden (RadioShack) and Levi Leipheimer
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Roman arena of a theme park served as the team presentation venue

The Roman arena of a theme park served as the team presentation venue
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)

Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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World Champion Thor Hushvod (Garmin-Cervelo)

World Champion Thor Hushvod (Garmin-Cervelo)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Mark Cavendish, freshly shorn for the Tour.

Mark Cavendish, freshly shorn for the Tour.
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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French champion Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)

French champion Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre ISD)

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre ISD)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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A hang glider is followed through his flight

A hang glider is followed through his flight
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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The Tour presentation was held in a phony Roman arena at the Puy du Fou theme park

The Tour presentation was held in a phony Roman arena at the Puy du Fou theme park
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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New French champion Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)

New French champion Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Christian Prudhomme has an eye on the sky

Christian Prudhomme has an eye on the sky
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler and his Europcar teammates

Thomas Voeckler and his Europcar teammates
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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The Saxo Bank team is lead in by Alberto Contador

The Saxo Bank team is lead in by Alberto Contador
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Andy Schleck comes in with Fabian Cancellara

Andy Schleck comes in with Fabian Cancellara
(Image credit: AFP Photo)

The 198 riders set to compete in this year’s Tour de France attended the official team presentation held in a fake Roman arena at the Puy du Fou theme park on Thursday afternoon.

The 22 teams entered the arena one at a time with some being pulled in carriages and others appearing from a rising platform like a boy band.

Most of the riders were cheered by the crowd but Alberto Contador was booed loudly as he stepped on to the stage. Earlier his team manager Bjarne Riis had defended the Spaniard’s right to race because his Clenbuterol positive from last year’s Tour de France has still to be considered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. However, the crowd’s disapproving reaction indicates Contador is not welcomed by many of the French spectators at this year’s race.

New jerseys

The riders climbed on stage wearing their racing kit, with Garmin-Cervelo showing off their new white and blue argyle design. New national champions such as Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Movistar), Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) proudly donned their new jerseys.

“It’s a great place for a gladiator," Cancellara said with a wry smile confirming he would be targeting a spell in the yellow jersey despite the Tour de France starting with a road race stage on Saturday.

“I’m motivated. It’s the first time there’s no prologue for me but we’ll still aiming for the yellow jersey. Why not?”

Evans, Wiggins, Leipheimer and Hincapie ready to race

All the overall contenders claimed they were on form and ready for three weeks of intense racing. Some looked more relaxed than others.

“I hope to get back to the same heights of 2009 when I was fourth,” Wiggins said. “We’ve raced and trained all year for it. I feel good after the Criterium du Dauphine and feel there is more to come.”

Cadel Evans seemed to enjoy the presentation, tweeting just after: "Tour 'preso' done....fun in the 'Gladiators' arena. Nice!” Other riders posted photographs of the team presentation via Twitter.

On stage Evans said: “Finishing second twice makes you hungry for more. I’m happy to be here. It’s a beautiful start to the Tour de France. I’m looking forward to the start on Saturday.”

George Hincapie (BMC) also got a cheer as he was about to start a record-equalling sixteenth Tour de France.

“I’m very honoured to be here. I’ve got so many nice memories from the Tour de France. My wife is from France and I have a special feeling racing here,” he said.