Gallery: A brutal first ten days of the Tour de France

Crashes, cobbles, and conquests

Just take me to the gallery.

The opening ten days of the 2014 Tour de France provided a full bounty of talking points and highlights. From the scale of the crowds in the United Kingdom, the 'selfies', the crashes and the cobbles to the abandonments of Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Mark Cavendish.

We’ve seen Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali arrive at the race with his 2013 Giro d’Italia form and win two impressive stage wins and solidify his place at the top of the overall, as well as Peter Sagan, Tony Martin and Marcel Kittel thrive on centre stage.

The French have enjoyed their share of the spotlight too with Blel Kardi winning at Gérardmer and Tony Gallopin capturing the malliot jaune for a day.

And yet we’ve seen the cruel side of bike racing too, with crash after crash and professional athletes leaving the race with broken bones and shattered spirits. The stage to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut will live long in Tour de France’s memory as it encapsulated everything about the sport, from the bravery and brilliance to the fine lines between success and failure.

Yet out of the despair and anguish new reputations can be forged as four French entrench themselves in the higher echelons of the overall and Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen vie with old hands Alejandro Valverde and Vinenzo Nibali.

Tim de Waele has been at every stage, photographing every key moment from this year’s race and we’ve compiled the best of the images so far.

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