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Racing and relaxation in Curacao

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Niki Terpstra takes on advice from all quarters.

Niki Terpstra takes on advice from all quarters. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andy and Fränk Schleck take time out in Curacao.

Andy and Fränk Schleck take time out in Curacao. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Niki Terpstra and his family in Curacao.

Niki Terpstra and his family in Curacao. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Niki Terpstra (Milram) and Danilo Hondo (Lampre-Farnese Vini) in full flight.

Niki Terpstra (Milram) and Danilo Hondo (Lampre-Farnese Vini) in full flight. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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It wasn't all fun: Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) puts in a shift at the head of the bunch.

It wasn't all fun: Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) puts in a shift at the head of the bunch. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Some last minute checks for Tony Martin.

Some last minute checks for Tony Martin. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tony Martin poses on the beach.

Tony Martin poses on the beach. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tony Martin checks his equipment.

Tony Martin checks his equipment. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tony Martin in the water.

Tony Martin in the water. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Grischa Niermann looks like he wishes he'd worn a wetsuit.

Grischa Niermann looks like he wishes he'd worn a wetsuit. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Grischa Niermann gets ready to go in.

Grischa Niermann gets ready to go in. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Grischa Niermann, Fränk Schleck, Andy Schleck and Tony Martin discuss getting in the water.

Grischa Niermann, Fränk Schleck, Andy Schleck and Tony Martin discuss getting in the water. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andy Schleck scans the horizon.

Andy Schleck scans the horizon. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fränk Schleck and Tony Martin compare notes in Curacao.

Fränk Schleck and Tony Martin compare notes in Curacao. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tony Martin soaks up the seaside atmosphere in Curacao.

Tony Martin soaks up the seaside atmosphere in Curacao. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andy Schleck gets suited up on shore.

Andy Schleck gets suited up on shore. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andy and Fränk Schleck get ready to plumb the depths.

Andy and Fränk Schleck get ready to plumb the depths. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andy and Fränk Schleck will ride for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project next year.

Andy and Fränk Schleck will ride for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project next year. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Something in the water. The Schleck brothers in Curacao.

Something in the water. The Schleck brothers in Curacao. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jurgen Van Den Broeck and his new friends.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck and his new friends. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bauke Mollema swims with the dolphins.

Bauke Mollema swims with the dolphins. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jurgen Van Den Broeck and girlfriend Barbara in Curacao.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck and girlfriend Barbara in Curacao. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jurgen Van Den Broeck will be aiming for more Tour de France glory in 2011.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck will be aiming for more Tour de France glory in 2011. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jurgen Van Den Broeck enjoyed a fine 2010.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck enjoyed a fine 2010. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jurgen Van Den Broeck and his girlfriend Barbara pose for the cameras.

Jurgen Van Den Broeck and his girlfriend Barbara pose for the cameras. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Koos Moerenhout will spend more time with his family in retirement.

Koos Moerenhout will spend more time with his family in retirement. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank) called time on his career in Curacao.

Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank) called time on his career in Curacao. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The brothers Schleck join the Luxembourg Cycling Project in 2011.

The brothers Schleck join the Luxembourg Cycling Project in 2011. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A pensive Andy Schleck.

A pensive Andy Schleck. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andy Schleck's last competitive outing was the Tour of Lombardy.

Andy Schleck's last competitive outing was the Tour of Lombardy. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andy Schleck ended his year in Curacao.

Andy Schleck ended his year in Curacao. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Big brother. Andy Schleck listens as Fränk speaks.

Big brother. Andy Schleck listens as Fränk speaks. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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All eyes will be on Andy Schleck in 2011.

All eyes will be on Andy Schleck in 2011. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fränk Schleck will be hoping for better luck in 2011.

Fränk Schleck will be hoping for better luck in 2011. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fränk Schleck ponders his final days as a Saxo Bank rider.

Fränk Schleck ponders his final days as a Saxo Bank rider. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fränk Schleck won the Amstel Curacao Race on Sunday.

Fränk Schleck won the Amstel Curacao Race on Sunday. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fränk Schleck stays in the shade.

Fränk Schleck stays in the shade. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Amstel Curacao Race may ultimately have been postponed due to heavy rain on Saturday, but that didn’t mean that there was no racing on the Caribbean island.

Fränk Schleck signed off on his hugely successful time in Saxo Bank colours with victory in the Sunday morning criterium, which was organised to replace the weather-struck Amstel Curacao Race. The Luxembourg champion beat sprinter Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) to take out the win.

Earlier in the week, Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank) won the Jan Thiel Criterium, providing a fitting end to his fifteen-year career as a professional. The Dutchman beat Sky sports director Steven De Jongh into second place, with Danilo Hondo (Lampre-Farnese Vini) snapping up third place.

As entertaining as the criteriums proved to be, from the riders’ point of view, the main attraction of the event was the island itself. Andy Schleck must be on first name terms with a significant portion of the dolphin populace of Curacao at this stage and he was just one of a host of riders who were returning to the event. Other stars taking time to enjoy some relaxation interspersed with racing included Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra, Bauke Mollema and Grischa Niermann.

You see our Curacao racing and dolphin-charming gallery here.