Tour de France team presentation - Gallery

Official festivities get underway in La Roche-sur-Yon

Official festivities for the 2018 Tour de France began on Thursday with the teams presentation at the Place Napoleon in La Roche-sur-Yon, the host city for the finish of stage 2 on July 8. Le Grand Départ will actually take place Saturday with a 201km stage from Noirmoutier-En-L'Ïle to Fontenay-Le-Comte.

As is often the case, world champion Peter Sagan stole the show on Thursday with his crowd-pleasing, off-beat antics, including handling introductions for his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates. Defending champion Chris Froome and Team Sky, on the other hand, got a considerably more icy reception in the wake of Froome's recently dropped anti-doping case.

Frenchman Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), third in last year's race and runner-up in 2016, was an obvious favourite, along with Warren Barguil and his French Fortuneo-Samsic team. Performers wowed the crowd with gymnastics and dancing, while Tour director Christian Prudhomme had his time on stage as well.

In all, 176 riders representing 22 teams from around the globe took their spots on stage as fans and sceptics alike got their chance to see the peloton before the upcoming three-week race.

Click or swipe through the gallery for a glimpse of Thursday's festivities.

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