The smiles looked convincing. When new Astana team-mates Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong took to the roads around Mount Teide in Tenerife, the bonhomie-o-meter was turned up to 11.

Armstrong and Contador are attending the Astana winter training camp on the Spanish island, getting in some team building and winter miles.

Contador has so far been publicly cautious about ‘sharing’ the team with Armstrong – both riders have the Tour de France in their sights. Contador won the event in 2007 but was unable to defend his title this year as his team weren’t invited. Seven-times Tour de France winner Armstrong has returned from retirement and must surely be dreaming of an eighth win. It’s a difficult situation.

Still, that’s more than seven months and a lot of racing away. Armstrong has already said that he’ll ride the spring classics and Giro d’Italia – something that he would never have contemplated before his retirement. He is, after all, the rider that made focussing on one event – the Tour – a specialty.

Contador, on the other hand, is the only rider in the peloton to have won all three grand Tours, having notched up wins in the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a Espana and Tour de France. He’s also got his best years in front of him, whereas Armstrong is now pushing 40.

Will the smiles and handshakes last until the end of July?

Photos by Andy Jones

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Lance ArmstrongContador, Armstrong and team-mate Andreas Kloden

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Lance ArmstrongArmstrong and Levi Leipheimer

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Lance ArmstrongTenerife scenery

Lance ArmstrongMeeting the press

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