The Tour de France entered the Pyrenees on Thursday and the people of the Basque country were out in force to support their pseudo-national team, Euskaltel-Euskadi. At times the crowd around Samuel Sanchez on Luz-Ardiden was five and six deep as he made the ascent of the Pyrenean mountain. Perhaps knowing a win was in the offing, Sanchez seemed to feed off the atmosphere and put in a momentous ride.
Cyclingnews has put together a gallery of a day of photography on the slopes of Luz-Ardiden. The crowds, the switchbacks, the battles, and a desperate ride from maillot jaune Thomas Voeckler made it a memorable day of racing, and a fitting first day in the mountains.