By Paul Verkuylen
Today's video instalment takes a look at the village depart. Set up each day to keep the riders comfortable, the village provides them with all the creature comforts of home. It is the one place where fans can mingle among the riders before they take to the start of the stage.
The village contains every thing imaginable that a rider may need, from a café to get his morning coffee, a letter box to post his mail to a hairdresser to keep the hair out of his eyes and look stylish all the way to Paris.
The village is set up and taken apart before and after each stage along the route of the Tour. Local celebrities come along to meet the riders and wave to the crowds, food stalls are set up to cater for the festivities and shows are organised to keep the spectators enthralled before the start or the finish of the stage.
The Tour is one giant carnival that travels around France each July and the village depart is just one way to bring the spectators to the riders that they see on television each day.
Click here to view the video.