Texas camp for Discovery

The new recruits at the Discovery Channel team get the chance to meet their team leader and get acqu

The new recruits at the Discovery Channel team get the chance to meet their team leader and get acqu
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE The sponsor may be changing but the routine is staying the same, as the Discovery Channel team has followed what was the US Postal squad in holding a pre-Christmas training camp in Austin, Texas, this week. More than anything, says team manager Johan Bruyneel, this camp offers a chance for new recruits to the team to find out how things work within the team headed by six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong. This year there are plenty of recruits, including Britain's Paris-Roubaix podium finisher Roger Hammond, 2002 Giro winner Paolo Savoldelli, 2003 Giro podium finisher Yaroslav Popovych and procycling columnist Tom Danielson. As well as rides at a steady speed, Bruyneel and his management team have also planned out a number of off-the-bike activities, including basketball and other team games. "The idea is to develop a group spirit in a relaxed atmosphere," Bruyneel told L'Equipe. "That means that when we have our second training camp in California in January the new recruits will be less stressed and intimidated. They will know Lance, they will know the staff and they will know the United States." While Armstrong was meeting his new team-mates in Austin, his cancer foundation has said that it will be taking steps to prevent sales of counterfeit Live Strong bands in the US. More than 25 million of the bands have been sold and they have become the fashion accessory of choice for many of the world's top sports stars and other notables. Such has been the demand for the bands that supply has not been able to keep up at times, leading to rogue operators producing replicas. According to a report in the Boston Herald, rogue bands were being sold in that city for three dollars instead of the usual one dollar charge. The bands carried the slogan 'Be Strong' rather than the words made famous by the Armstrong Foundation's campaign. Official bands have also been seen on sale on the Ebay auction site for up to 30 times their retail value.
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