Looking back at the first nine stages of the Tour de France - Gallery

From Normandy to the Pyrenees, the Tour's opening salvo doesn't disappoint

The first chapter of the 2016 Tour de France provided plenty of grist for watercooler conversations today, as the race heads into the first rest day with a familiar face at the head of affairs. Two-time and defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) seized the lead with a surprise attack over the final climb of stage 8 and descended into the yellow jersey in Luchon. It was a change of style for the often-times coolly calculating champion, who normally leaves his rivals behind when the roads are going uphill. 

On the way to the first rest day in Andorra, the race has seen seven different stage winners and four overall leaders, three of whom had never worn the maillot jaune previously. As expected, the Tour de France has already dealt out plenty of heartbreak to go along with the glory. Two-time champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) finally abandoned after two early crashes, and Katusha's Michael Morkov battled on through seven more stages after crashing on the opening day, eventually packing it in on stage 8.

Click or swipe through the gallery above for a brief look back at some of the action from the first nine days at the Tour de France.

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