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thumbnail The Grand Départ: Tour de France begins
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The Grand Départ: Tour de France begins © Michael Steele/Getty Images Sport
All eyes are on France today as 22 teams begin the 105th Tour de France, the prestigious cycling race that takes competitors more than 2,000 miles through the countryside. Our image show the peloton (the main pack of riders) racing down a tree-lined road from Montélimar to the Parc des Oiseaux in Villars-les-Dombes during Stage 14 of the Tour de France in 2016. If you’re new to the competition, here’s what you need to know: The race includes 21 stages that span 22 days. Competitors will climb at grades of up to 11 percent through the Alps and Pyrenees, and pedal over miles of cobblestone and dirt roads, country lanes and highways, at last coming to a finish at the Champs-Élysées in Paris. When you see the peloton, keep an eye out for the yellow jersey–at each stage it’s worn by the cyclist with the overall leading time and is ultimately awarded to the winner. Bonne chance, riders!