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Tour de France 2012: The best photos

Updated 2:04 PM ET, Sun July 22, 2012
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Bradley Wiggins, left, celebrates on the finish line with teammate Michael Rogers of Australia after becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France on Sunday, July 22, in Paris. Getty Images
From left, best sprinter Peter Sagan of Slovakia, overall race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain, best climber Thomas Voeckler of France and best young rider Tejay Van Garderen of the United States celebrate on the podium after finishing the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on Sunday. EPA/LANDOV
Mark Cavendish of Great Britain celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the bunch sprint during the 20th and final stage of the Tour de France. Getty Images
The pack of cyclists rides toward the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
British fans celebrate during the 20th and final stage of the Tour on Sunday in Paris. Getty Images
Cavendish and Wiggins, in yellow, ride past the Arc de Triomphe as the three-week race comes to an end in Paris on Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
The peloton rides towards the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Sunday for the ceremonial finish on the Champs-Elysees. AFP/Getty Images
Wiggins leads the pack on the Place de la Concorde in Paris as the final stage of the Tour de France comes to an end Sunday. REUTERS/LANDOV
Overall race leader Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain rides next to a team car with a team member carrying a cup of Champagne during the final stage. AFP/Getty Images
From left, best young rider Tejay Van Garderen of the United States, overall race leader Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain, best sprinter Peter Sagan of Slovakia and best climber Thomas Voeckler of France ride together the final stage, which is largely ceremonial. AFP/Getty Images
Briton Bradley Wiggins, wearing the leader's yellow jersey, celebrates finishing the 19th stage of the 2012 Tour de France on Saturday, July 21. AFP/Getty Images
Briton David Millar tapes an energy gel to his top tube Saturday before stage 19. Getty Images
Blel Kadri of France waits to start on Saturday. Getty Images
Nicki Sorensen of Denmark races down the starting ramp. Getty Images
France's Jerome Coppel readies himself before Saturday's stage. AFP/Getty Images
British rider Stephen Cummings wears bandages on his legs. Getty Images
Denmark's Nicki Sorensen races up a hill during the 19th stage of the 2012 Tour de France on Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
France's Thomas Voeckler (in the best climber's polka dot jersey), Slovakia's Peter Sagan (in the best sprinter's green jersey) and stage winner Great Britain's Mark Cavendish ride in the pack in the 222.5 km 18th stage of the 2012 Tour de France on Friday, July 20. AFP/Getty Images
Fans watch as the peloton passes through sunflower fields on Friday. Getty Images
Fans cheer on the pack riding past a windmill on Friday. Getty Images
Mark Cavendish of Great Britain and SKY Procycling celebrates winning Stage 18 on Friday. Getty Images
The peloton is chased by a television helicopter on Friday during stage 18. Getty Images
Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain and SKY Procycling retained his race leader's yellow jersey after Stage 18 on Friday. Getty Images
Bradley Wiggins of Britain, riding for SKY Procycling in the race leader's yellow jersey, makes the climb of the Cote de Saint-Georges with the peloton on Friday. Getty Images
The peloton crosses La Dordogne River during Stage 18 on Friday. Getty Images
Bradley Wiggins, left, of Great Britain, riding for SKY Procycling, cycles with the peloton Friday. Getty Images
The pack of riders glide past a field of sunflowers Friday. Getty Images
The leaders cruise past a windmill Friday on the 18th stage of the Tour de France. AFP/Getty Images
Spectators cheer on Spain's Alejandro Valverde as he rides to victory during the 143.5 kilometer (89 miles) Stage 17, starting in Bagneres-de-Luchon and finishing in the ski resort of Peyragudes, southern France, on Thursday, July 19. AFP/Getty Images
The pack of riders descends the mountainous terrain of Thursday's race. EPA/LANDOV
Thomas Voeckler of France and Fredrik Kessiakoff of Sweden ride in a breakaway group together through the Pyrenees mountains. EPA/LANDOV
Overall race leader Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain, in yellow, rides in the main group during Thursday's race. EPA/LANDOV
The peloton wind through the narrow mountains rodes of Thursday's race which included several several long difficult climbs on the way to the finish in Peyragudes. AFP/Getty Images
Australian rider Cadel Evans of Team BMC, right, follows closely behind teammate Tejay Van Garderen of the United States, left, who is currently wearing the race's "best young rider's" jersey. EPA/LANDOV
Riders pass through foggy pass in the high altitude of Thursday's route. AFP/Getty Images
Stage winner Alejandro Valverde of Spain is overcome with emotion after crossing the finish line at the end of the race Thursday. AFP/Getty Images
Tour de France riders wait before the start of the 17th stage of the race on Thursday. reuters/landov
Stage winner Thomas Voeckler of France grabs a bottle of water from a fan as he climbs the final pass before the finish Wednesday, July 18, during the 197-kilometer (122-mile) race through the Pyrenees from Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon. AFP/Getty Images
Race leader Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain, in yellow, and the main pack of riders pass a Nelson Mandela birthday banner Wednesday. People around the globe celebrated Mandela's 94th birthday. AFP/Getty Images
Riders race through the Pyrenees Mountains on Wednesday on a difficult course that contained two "beyond categorization" sections, climbs that are so hard they are considered off the charts. REUTERS/LANDOV
Katusha team rider Vladimir Gusev of Russia receives assistance from a race official after a fall in the Pyrenees on Wednesday. REUTERS/LANDOV
Riders round a treacherous turn on stage 16 Wednesday. AFP/Getty Images
George Hincapie, of the United States and Cadel Evans of Australia on Team BMC talk during Wednesday's race. EPA/LANDOV
Bradley Wiggins, left, is in first place while Christopher Froome is in second and Vincenzo Nibali is in third place in the race to maintain their standings Wednesday. REUTERS/LANDOV
The peloton makes the climb of the Col d'Aubisque in the Pyrenees Mountains during Wednesday's stage. Getty Images
Germany's Jens Voigt of team Radioshack-Nissan answers journalists' questions Wednesday after teammate Frank Schleck tested positive for a banned substance overnight and withdrew from the race. AFP/Getty Images
Pierrick Fedrigo of France sprints to the finish to win the 15th stage of the Tour de France on Monday, July 16, covering 160 kilometers (99 miles) from Samatan to Pau, France. EPA/LANDOV
Spectators cheer on riders as they pass through a small village along Monday's route. AFP/Getty Images
The main pack of riders pass through the French countryside during Monday's course. REUTERS/LANDOV
Fans applaud Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins, here in the yellow jersey, as he makes his way up a climb in the main group Monday. AFP/Getty Images
Monday's stage was a mostly rolling course with no major climbs. EPA/LANDOV
French rider Pierrick Fedrigo celebrates after winning Monday's stage in Pau. Getty Images
Luis-Leon Sanchez of Spain celebrates after winning the 14th stage of the Tour de France, which ran 191 kilometers (119 miles) from Limoux to Foix, France, on Sunday, July 15. EPA/LANDOV
Riders make their way around a bend during Sunday's stage, which is the first in the Pyrenees mountains. EPA/LANDOV
France's Thomas Voeckler, center, helps teammate Pierre Rolland of France, left, change a wheel during the race Sunday. Around 30 punctured tires were reported near the top of the last major climb, apparently caused by tacks thrown on the course by spectators. AFP/Getty Images
Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain, wearing the yellow jersey, maintains his position as the overall race leader, 2 minutes 5 seconds ahead of Team Sky teammate Christopher Froome, on Sunday. Getty Images
Spectators greet a breakaway group of 11 riders as they picnic along the course Sunday. EPA/LANDOV
Philippe Gilbert of Belgium and Team BMC leads a breakaway group as rain starts to fall Sunday. EPA/LANDOV
The main group of riders passes by a field during Sunday's stage, which consisted of two major climbs. AFP/Getty Images
A spectator dressed as Santa Claus rings a bell from a field along the race route as riders pass by. AFP/Getty Images
Spain's Luis-Leon Sanchez, center, eventually created a gap between himself and the rest of the breakaway group and was able to maintain his lead through the finish Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
Cheerleaders from the Perpignan rugby club cheer on riders Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
Slovakia's Peter Sagan, wearing the green jersey of the sprint points leader, reaches for second place at the finish of the race Sunday and maintains his lead as sprints points leader, 97 points ahead of Andre Greipel of Germany. AFP/Getty Images
Fans cheer on cyclists participating in the 2012 Tour de France on Saturday, July 14. AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Bradley Wiggins rides in the pack in the 13 stage of the race, which started in Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux and finishes in Le Cap d'Agde, France, on Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
A fan cheers on the pack riding in the 226-km (140-mile) stage 12 of the 2012 Tour de France, starting in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and finishing in Annonay Davezieux, southeastern France, on Friday, July 13. AFP/Getty Images
Australia's Cadel Evans checks technical problems with his radio-link earphones as he rides on Friday. AFP/Getty Images
Fans wait for riders in Western garb during stage 12 Friday. AFP/Getty Images
The leading men ride in a tunnel in a breakaway on Friday. AFP/Getty Images
Team Europcar rider Pierre Rolland of France is cheered on Thursday, July 12, as he rides to victory in stage 11. REUTERS/LANDOV
Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, left, and Bradley Wiggins of Britain celebrate at the conclusion of Thursday's race. EPA/LANDOV
Overall race leader Bradley Wiggins of Britain rides ahead of Cadel Evans of Australia, who started Thursday's stage in second place. REUTERS/LANDOV
Riders make their way through the French Alps on Thursday during the 11th stage of the Tour de France, which covers 91 miles starting in Albertville and finishes in La Toussuire-Les Sybelles, France. AFP/Getty Images
Representations of Tour de France leaders' jerseys hang along the road during Thursday's race. AFP/Getty Images
Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain, left, rounds a turn Thursday, followed by teammate Christopher Froome. Reuters/Landov
Australian fans cheer riders as they pass by during Thursday's race, the first full stage in the Alps. AFP/Getty Images
France's Thomas Voeckler celebrates after winning stage 10, a 194.5-kilometer (120-mile) course starting in Macon and finishing in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, France, on Wednesday, July 11. AFP/Getty Images
The cyclists cross a bridge in Macon at the beginning of Wednesday's events. AFP/Getty Images
Large cutouts of cyclists in colorful jerseys are featured on the facade of a building in Macon on Wednesday. AFP/Getty Images
Frederik Kessiakoff of Sweden, wearing the polka dot jersey signifying his position as the best climber in the race, races among the peloton Wednesday. AFP/Getty Images
Bernhard Eisel of Austria and Team Sky drive the peloton as they work to defend Bradley Wiggins' hold on the overall race lead Wednesday. Getty Images
Overall race leader Bradley Wiggins, right, receives a water bottle handoff from Team Sky teammate Mark Cavendish on Wednesday. AFP/Getty Images
Race leader Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain rides through the French countryside in the main pack of riders Wednesday. Getty Images
Thomas Voeckler of France, right, leads a breakaway group of four riders through the mountains. Rueters/Landov
Jens Voigt of Germany attacks on the final climb of Wednesday's race. He finished third, unable to best Thomas Voeckler of France and Michele Scarponi of Italy. EPA/Landov
Riders make their way up the Col du Grand Columbier, the most challenging climb of the race, rated as "beyond categorization." Most climbs are rated from 1 to 4, with four being the easiest. Getty Images
Voeckler crosses the finish line first at the mountaintop finish at Bellegarde-sur-Valserine on Wednesday. AFP/Getty Images
Team Sky rider Bradley Wiggins of Britain, in the leader's yellow jersey, crosses the finish line during the individual time trial in the ninth stage of the 99th Tour de France cycling race between Arc et Senans and Besancon on Monday, July 9. REUTERS /LANDOV
Radioshack-Nissan rider Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland crosses the finish line during the individual time trials. REUTERS /LANDOV
German Tony Martin rides for the Omega Pharma Quick Step team. EPA/LANDOV
Stage winner Bradley Wiggins drinks before entering the anti-doping control bus at the end of the 41.5-kilometer Stage 9 individual time trial. AFP/Getty Images
Sylvain Chavanel of France, riding for Omega-Pharma-Quickstep, races to fifth place in the individual time trials. Getty Images
Vincenzo Nibali of Italy and Liquigas-Canondale rides in Stage 9. Getty Images
Australian rider Cadel Evans of the BMC Racing team rides the Stage 9 time trial. EPA/LANDOV
World time trial champion Tony Martin of Germany rides the Stage 9 time trials on Monday, July 9. Getty Images
Thibaut Pinot of France celebrates on the finish line after winning Stage 8 of the Tour de France on Sunday, July 8. The stage covered 157.5 kilometers (98 miles) from Belfort, France, to Porrentruy, Switzerland, with seven major climbs. AFP/Getty Images
The main group, known as the peloton, departs from Belfort at the start of the race Sunday. Getty Images
Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain went into Sunday's stage wearing the yellow jersey as the race's overall leader. AFP/Getty Images
The pack rides past a field of cows in the French countryside Sunday.
Germany's Jens Voigt, the oldest cyclist in the Tour at 40, attempts to break away from the peloton during the race Sunday. Getty Images
Frederik Kessiakoff of Sweden, who led for much of the race, rounds a turn Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
Fans cheer on Kessiakoff during the last major climb of the stage Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
Overall leader Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain rides in the peloton with his Team Sky teammates Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
The peloton makes its way through the narrow roads of the French countryside on the way to the stage finish in Porrentruy, Switzerland, on Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
Great Britain's Christopher Froome celebrates as he crosses the Stage 7 finish line on Saturday to take the win. AFP/Getty Images
Bernhard Eisel of Austria leads the main group of riders, or peloton, through the French countryside during Stage 7 on Saturday. Getty Images
The pack rides by during the seventh stage of the 2012 Tour de France. AFP/Getty Images
Anthony Delaplace of France, who has an injured wrist, retired from the race Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
Delaplace is the 17th rider to drop out this year. AFP/Getty Images
Fans cheer on riders from bales of straw on Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
From left, France's Christophe Riblon, Switzerland's Michael Albasini, Denmark's Chris Anker Sorensen, Spain's Luis-Leon Sanchez and France's Cyril Gautier lead the race on Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen takes a drink during the ride Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, riding for the RadioShack-Nissan team, retained his race lead (signified by the yellow jersey) after Stage 6 on Friday, July 6, in Metz. Getty Images
Riders make their way back to the peloton during Stage 6 on Friday. Getty Images
Stage 6 winner Peter Sagan of Slovakia pushes to the finish line ahead of Germany's Andre Greipel on Friday. The 207.5-kilometer stage began in Epernay and finished in Metz, in northeastern France. AFP/Getty Images
A fan wearing a yellow jersey cheers on the pack riding in Metz on Friday. AFP/Getty Images
The peloton was split by a crash in Gorze, with 25 kilometers remaining in Stage 6 on Friday. Getty Images
A bloodied Ryder Hesjedal of Canada, riding for Garmin-Sharp, is accompanied by teammate Tyler Farrar of the United States as they ride to the finish of Stage 6 in Metz. Hesjedal was involved in a crash 25 kilometers from the end of the stage and was separated from the yellow jersey group. Getty Images
Sweden's Gustav Larsson, center, and Italy's Daniel Oss were among the 30 riders involved in the crash Friday. AFP/Getty Images
Italy's Davide Vigano is lifted on a stretcher after the crash on Friday, July 6. AFP/Getty Images
Belgium's Johan Van Summeren reacts after the crash on Friday, July 6. AFP/Getty Images
Race leader Fabian Cancellara chats to Ivan Basso of Italy at Stage 5, from Rouen to Saint-Quentin, on Thursday, July 5. Getty Images
Andre Greipel, second from left, of the Lotto-Belisol team charges ahead to the finish line on Thursday to win Stage 5 of the Tour de France. Getty Images
Fans wave French flags and cheer on riders Thursday as the main group passes on the way from Rouen, where Stage 5 of the race started, to Saint-Quentin. AFP/Getty Images
Jonathan Cantwell of Australia lies on the ground after crashing near the finish of Stage 5 Thursday. EPA/LANDOV
Tyler Farrar of USA riding for Garmin-Sharp sits on the ground dazed after crashing hard near the end of Thursday's stage. Reuters/Landov
Farrar bleeds from multiple wounds as he rolls through to the finish line after crashing in the final sprint Thursday. EPA/LANDOV
Riders pass a field of poppies as they race through the French countryside Thursday. AFP/Getty Images
Fabian Cancellara of team RadioShack-Nissan holds on to the team car as he makes an adjustment during the race Thursday. AFP/Getty Images
Fans cheer and a television helicopter flies above as the riders stream by. AFP/Getty Images
From left: Julien Simon of Saur-Sojasun, Pablo Urtasun Perez of Euskaltel-Euskadi and Matthieu Ladagnous of FDJ-BigMat ride in a breakaway from the main group Thursday. AFP/Getty Images
Fans line the road and wait for riders to pass along the 196.5-kilometer (122-mile) Stage 5 course Thursday. AFP/Getty Images
Riders roll past a hot-air balloon sitting in a field along Thursday's course. AFP/Getty Images
Christian Vande Velde of the Garmin-Sharp team signs an autograph for a fan before the beginning of Thursday's stage. AFP/Getty Images
Jonathan Vaughters, director of Team Garmin-Sharp, addresses the media before the start of Stage 5 on Thursday. Getty Images
Andre Greipel of Germany and the Lotto-Belisol team celebrates winning Stage 4, from Abbeville to Rouen, on Wednesday, July 4. Getty Images
The pack of riders cycles past spectators during Stage 4. REUTERS/LANDOV
The peloton fans out during Stage 4. REUTERS/LANDOV
The peloton passes through wheat fields. Getty Images
The pack of riders cycle through the city of Abbeville. REUTERS/LANDOV
Liquigas-Cannondale rider Peter Sagan of Slovakia signs autographs for spectators. REUTERS/LANDOV
The pack of cyclists streams along a country road during Stage 4. LANDOV
An injured Mark Cavendish of Great Britain sits on the pavement just after crashing near the end of the 214-kilometer Stage 4. AFP/Getty Images
Cavendish rolls to the finish with visible injuries and damage to his jersey and helmet after crashing near the finish. AFP/Getty Images
The pack rides by the cliffs of Dieppe. AFP/Getty Images
The peloton passes by windmills on Wednesday. Getty Images
France's David Moncoutie, Japan's Yukiya Arashiro, and France's Anthony Delaplace ride in a breakaway. AFP/Getty Images
Peter Sagan of Slovakia celebrates while crossing the finish line Tuesday to win Stage 3. AFP/Getty Images
Overall race leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, in yellow jersey, rides in the main group during Tuesday's 197-kilometer (122-mile) stage. AFP/Getty Images
Fans wave the French flag as the peleton, led by team RadioShack-Nissan, rides past. PA PHOTOS/LANDOV
France's Thomas Voeckler grimaces during one of the course's many climbs on Tuesday. AFP/Getty Images
The peloton, the main group of riders, descends a hill during Stage 3. AFP/Getty Images
France's Sebastien Minard, left, and Denmark's Michael Morkov, in the polka-dot jersey, lead a breakaway in Stage 3. AFP/Getty Images
Mark Cavendish, left, rides with teammates from Britain's Team Sky, wearing yellow helmets signifying their lead in the team standings. AFP/Getty Images
Tour de France 2011 winner Cadel Evans of Australia rides in Stage 3 on Tuesday. AFP/Getty Images
Team Sky sprinter Mark Cavendish of Great Britain arrives for the start of Stage 3 on Tuesday. EPA/Landov
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland riding for Team RadioShack-Nissan arrives Tuesday for the start of Stage 3, which is 197 kilometers (122 miles) from Orchies to Boulogne-sur-Mer. EPA/Landov
Fans cheer on riders as they climb the Cote de la Citadelle de Namur (Climb of Namur Citadel) during Stage 2, which takes place in Belgium. AFP/Getty Images
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland holds the yellow jersey and overall race lead going into Stage 2 on Monday. AFP/Getty Images
A spectator sits along the course Monday in Belgium, where Stage 2 of the race covers 129 miles from Vise to Tournai and is relatively flat. AFP/Getty Images
Three riders broke away from the main group early in Stage 2, including (left to right): Anthony Roux of France, Michael Morkov of Denmark and Christophe Kern of France. AFP/Getty Images
The main group of riders quickly fell several minutes behind the breakaway group as they traveled along Belgian roads Monday. AFP/Getty Images
The peloton races through the Belgian countryside Monday. AFP/Getty Images
Peter Sagan of Slovakia celebrates on the finish line as he wins Stage 1, just ahead of Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, on Sunday in Seraing, Belgium. AFP/Getty Images
Cancellara, wearing the yellow jersey, rides alongside Cadel Evans of Australia, second from left, and Frank Schleck of Luxembourg, left, on Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
The peloton follows the official Tour de France vehicle at the beginning of Sunday's Stage 1. AFP/Getty Images
A spectator waves the Belgian flag as fans wait for riders to pass along the Stage 1 route on Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
A group of six riders, including Nicolas Edet of France, left, breaks away from the main group very early in Stage 1on Sunday. The riders were able to maintain a gap of several minutes until they were eventually caught about 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the finish line. AFP/Getty Images
The peloton travels along a narrow road through the Belgian countryside on Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
Fans wait on the roadside for the almost 200 riders to pass during Stage 1 on Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
Fans peer over a railing as riders crest a small hill on Sunday. EPA/Landov
Anthony Delaplace of France leads the six riders in the breakaway group on Sunday. AFP/Getty Images
The peloton begins the final climb of Sunday's stage, called the Cote de Seraing, as riders near the finish of the 198-kilometer (123-mile) course. Getty Images
Peter Sagan of Slovakia, right, sprints to victory at the Stage 1 finish line Sunday ahead of Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, left, and Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway, center. EPA/Landov
Overall race leader Cancellara embraces former Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx after Sunday's stage. EPA/Landov
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland lunges out of the starting gate for the individual time trial and first test in the 2012 Tour de France in Liege, Belgium, on Saturday, June 30. AFP/Getty Images
Cycling fans sit on a bronze statue in the town of Liege, Belgium, to get a glimpse of the individual time trial on Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
Nicki Sorensen of Denmark eyes the finish line as he nears the completion of the 6.4-kilometer (4-mile) course on Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
Sylvain Chavanel of France rounds a sharp turn on the course in Liege on Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
Bradley Wiggins of Britain sprints to the finish line on Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
A performer wearing a hat decorated with toy cyclists poses for spectators on Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
Andriy Grivko of Ukraine grimaces as he nears the finish line during the time trial, cheered on by fans. EPA/LANDOV
Cadel Evans of Austraila, last year's Tour winner, rounds a turn during the time trial. He finished witih the 13th best time. AFP/Getty Images
Cancellara, who won the prologue with an individual time trial time of 7 minutes, 13 seconds, sprints to the finish on Saturday. AFP/Getty Images
Cancellara celebrates on the podium Saturday and pulls on the yellow jersey, worn by the overall race leader. AFP/Getty Images