Tour de France: A final ride before the Grand Depart - Gallery

AG2R, Etixx-QuickStep and Trek-Segafredo get in a few easy miles before the Tour de France starts on Saturday

When he presentations are done and all the questions have been exhausted at the pre-race press conferences, the only thing left for riders to do before the 2016 Tour de France begins Saturday is to get in a few final miles and make sure the legs are loose.

AG2R La Mondiale, Trek-Segafredo and Etixx-QuickStep hit the Normandy roads around Saint-Lo on Friday as the mechanics, soigniers and assembled race entourage started in on their own final preparations. Fabian Cancellara will no doubt be savouring all the moments from what will be his final Tour, while newcomer Julian Alaphilippe is likely eager to stretch his legs in his debut Grand Tour. Alaphilippe's countryman, Romain Bardet, is feeling the pressure of an entire nation that pines for Tour greatness from one of its own.

The 103rd Tour de France begins in Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday with a 188km opening stage to Utah Beach, site of the D-Day Normandy Landings in June 1944. The route follows the Manche coastline and then cuts east across the Cotentin peninsula. Stage 1 should be a day for the sprinters, but then again anything can happen at the Tour de France.

Check out the galley above, and then see the video below for our 10 general classification riders to watch at this year's Tour.

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