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Tai Chi and lion dancing: The Tour peloton descends on Shanghai - Gallery

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Practicing some Tai Chi moves

Practicing some Tai Chi moves
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel takes a selfie with Didi the Devil

Marcel Kittel takes a selfie with Didi the Devil
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The star riders are introduced to the crowd

The star riders are introduced to the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome talks with teammate Michal Kwiatkowski

Chris Froome talks with teammate Michal Kwiatkowski
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet talks to the Belgian press

Greg Van Avermaet talks to the Belgian press
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michal Kwiatkowski at the Shanghai Criterium press conference

Michal Kwiatkowski at the Shanghai Criterium press conference
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome is presented with a framed yellow jersey

Chris Froome is presented with a framed yellow jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The riders are brought up on stage

The riders are brought up on stage
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(L-R) Chris Froome, Marcel Kittel, Warren Barguil and Alberto Contador talk to the crowd

(L-R) Chris Froome, Marcel Kittel, Warren Barguil and Alberto Contador talk to the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet on stage

Greg Van Avermaet on stage
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michal Kwiatkowski, Michal Golas and Kenny Elissonde show off their new outfits

Michal Kwiatkowski, Michal Golas and Kenny Elissonde show off their new outfits
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Team Sunweb is introduced

Team Sunweb is introduced
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Trek-Segafredo say hello to the crowd

Trek-Segafredo say hello to the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Vermote poses for the camera

Julian Vermote poses for the camera
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lion dancing in front of the Shanghai Pearl Tower

Lion dancing in front of the Shanghai Pearl Tower
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lions in the colours of the Tour de France's classification jerseys

Lions in the colours of the Tour de France's classification jerseys
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet walks off stage

Greg Van Avermaet walks off stage
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The opening press conference was held at the Shanghai Pearl Tower

The opening press conference was held at the Shanghai Pearl Tower
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome talks to the press

Chris Froome talks to the press
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The riders assemble on stage

The riders assemble on stage
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dimension Data's delegation with Tour stage winner Edvald Boasson Hagen

Dimension Data's delegation with Tour stage winner Edvald Boasson Hagen
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Greg Van Avermaet with his BMC Racing teammates

Greg Van Avermaet with his BMC Racing teammates
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Another gift for Chris Froome

Another gift for Chris Froome
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen and Greg Van Avermaet share a laugh

Edvald Boasson Hagen and Greg Van Avermaet share a laugh
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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There was plenty of entertainment

There was plenty of entertainment
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Colour-coded lions

Colour-coded lions
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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There was some lion dancing as entertainment, but the riders were just spectators for this

There was some lion dancing as entertainment, but the riders were just spectators for this
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Warren Barguil looks at his lion

Warren Barguil looks at his lion
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome with his yellow lion

Chris Froome with his yellow lion
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A green lion for Marcel Kittel

A green lion for Marcel Kittel
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rigoberto Uran was in attendance

Rigoberto Uran was in attendance
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador tries some Tai Chi

Alberto Contador tries some Tai Chi
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome in his yellow outfit

Chris Froome in his yellow outfit
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador talks to his teammates

Alberto Contador talks to his teammates
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Didi the Devil adds some new bits to his outfit

Didi the Devil adds some new bits to his outfit
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome talks to the crowd

Chris Froome talks to the crowd
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Criterium is advertised on a building nearby

The Criterium is advertised on a building nearby
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome gets a miniature Shanghai Pearl Tower

Chris Froome gets a miniature Shanghai Pearl Tower
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador at the press conference

Alberto Contador at the press conference
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel looks off into the distance

Marcel Kittel looks off into the distance
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome and Alberto Contafor on stage

Chris Froome and Alberto Contafor on stage
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Michal Kwiatkowski and Chris Froome sit next to each other

Michal Kwiatkowski and Chris Froome sit next to each other
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A happy Alberto Contador

A happy Alberto Contador
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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ASO CEO Jean Etienne Amaury makes a short speech

ASO CEO Jean Etienne Amaury makes a short speech
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen sits with his teammates

Edvald Boasson Hagen sits with his teammates
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The riders have a go at Tai Chi on stage

The riders have a go at Tai Chi on stage
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

It's that time of the year when we get to see the stars of the Tour de France in Asia being placed into a range of incongruous situations.

In recent years the Saitama Criterium in Japan has represented a chance for the vastly western peloton to meet the Far East and its cultures, and this year organisers ASO – who run the Tour – have added the 'China Criterium' in Shanghai, where a media day was held on Saturday ahead of the race on Sunday.

While the Saitama media days have seen pro riders try their hand at sumo wrestling and Japanese archery, Saturday's event in Shanghai had them decked out in robes for Tai Chi and lion dancing.

Chris Froome wore yellow as the Tour de France champion, and he was joined by king of the mountains Warren Barguil in red and white, and by Marcel Kittel in green, the German having worn the points jersey up until his abandon late in the race. Alberto Contador was also front row as the 25 or so riders who will line up in Sunday's criterium were taken through three basic moves of Tai Chi, a Chinese martial art which is said to have numerous health benefits.

After some spirited attempts, and some not so spirited, the riders left the stage, while Froome, Kittel, and Barguil remained for the lion dancing, an ancient tradition in which performers dress in elaborate lion costumes and dance to a drum beat. Thankfully the riders were mere onlookers as the two-man lions carried out a range of acrobatic moves.

Click or swipe through the gallery for a full feast of photos of the activities and the media day as a whole. The race takes place on Sunday before the riders travel to Japan for the Saitama Criterium, where live eel catching and Taté sword combat will be on the agenda.