Lance Armstrong and the Astana team are currently in Santa Rosa on a training camp ahead of this month’s Tour of California.

Wrapped up against weather that looked like it belonged more to Britain that the vineyards of California, seven-times Tour de France winner Armstrong and his team-mates went on a training run devised by the squad’s local resident Levi Leipheimer.

The nine-day Tour of California starts on February 14, with an opening prologue in Sacramento.

Leipheimer is the defending champion, but his presence at the race will undoubtedly be over-shadowed in the media by Armstrong. It will, after all, be Armstrong’s first professional road race on US soil since announcing his comeback from retirement. He made his international post-retirement debut at the Tour Down Under in January.

Although not riding the Tour of California, 2007 Tour de France and 2008 Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana champion Alberto Contador was also there joining in the team rides.

Armstrong wore his black and yellow LiveStrong kit, rather than Astana team clothing. The Texan seems to ride in his LiveStrong strip when training, keeping Astana colours for race day.

Astana are one of 17 teams lined up for the Tour of California. Astana’s line-up for the race is provisionally: Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Janez Brajkovic, Chris Horner, Steve Morabito, Yaroslav Popvych, Jose Rubiera and Michael Schar.

Cycling Weekly will be covering the Tour of California in full online and in the magazine. Watch out for our race preview coming soon.

Lance Armstrong Tour of CaliforniaLance gets ready to ride

Lance Armstrong Tour of CaliforniaArmstrong and local man Levi Leipheimer (right)

Lance Armstrong Tour of CaliforniaIt’s not all about Lance: triple grand tour champion Alberto Contador saddles up

Lance Armstrong Tour of CaliforniaIsn’t is supposed to be sunny in California?

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