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Tour de France gallery: From Liège to Paris

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Bradley Wiggins was joined by his wife and children on the Champs-Élysées at the Tour's conclusion.

Bradley Wiggins was joined by his wife and children on the Champs-Élysées at the Tour's conclusion. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and his son on the Champs-Élysées.

Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and his son on the Champs-Élysées. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) motors to the win.

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) motors to the win. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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George Hincapie (BMC) gets set for his 17th Tour de France

George Hincapie (BMC) gets set for his 17th Tour de France (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Defending Tour de France Champion Cadel Evans (BMC) begins his 2012 campaign in Liege

Defending Tour de France Champion Cadel Evans (BMC) begins his 2012 campaign in Liege (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) powers down the start ramp.

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) powers down the start ramp. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) took his 5th opening day victory at the Tour de France.

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) took his 5th opening day victory at the Tour de France. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Prologue winner Fabian Cancellara dons the first yellow jersey of the 2012 Tour de France.

Prologue winner Fabian Cancellara dons the first yellow jersey of the 2012 Tour de France. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Liege was a fine host to the opening day of action.

Liege was a fine host to the opening day of action. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) has won the Tour's opening road stage in Seraing, Belgium.

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) has won the Tour's opening road stage in Seraing, Belgium. (Image credit: AFP)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) triumphs in the first Tour de France road stage of his career.

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) triumphs in the first Tour de France road stage of his career. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) shows off his new, yellow Trek Domane prepared for the Swiss rider's first stage in the leader's jersey.

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) shows off his new, yellow Trek Domane prepared for the Swiss rider's first stage in the leader's jersey. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and son prior to the start of the Tour's first road stage.

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and son prior to the start of the Tour's first road stage. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) celebrates his first ever Tour de France stage win.

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) celebrates his first ever Tour de France stage win. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) was a heavy faller on stage 1 of the Tour de France.

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) was a heavy faller on stage 1 of the Tour de France. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Sky) grits his teeth and sprints for it

Mark Cavendish (Sky) grits his teeth and sprints for it (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Huge crowds were on hand for stage 2 of the 2012 Tour de France

Huge crowds were on hand for stage 2 of the 2012 Tour de France (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Tour de France mascots hit the streets in Belgium

Tour de France mascots hit the streets in Belgium (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) triumphs in his first Tour de France stage win outside of France

Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) triumphs in his first Tour de France stage win outside of France (Image credit: AFP)
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Jani Brajkovic (Astana) gets medical treatment after a crash

Jani Brajkovic (Astana) gets medical treatment after a crash (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) has a lot of time to celebrate

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) has a lot of time to celebrate (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) does a little dance to celebrate

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) does a little dance to celebrate (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Mountains classification leader Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff)

Mountains classification leader Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cadel Evans (BMC) leads Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel)

Cadel Evans (BMC) leads Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Who else but Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) would you expect to see setting tempo at the head of the peloton.

Who else but Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan) would you expect to see setting tempo at the head of the peloton. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The peloton in action during stage 4 along the west coast of France.

The peloton in action during stage 4 along the west coast of France. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Beautiful scenery along France's west coast.

Beautiful scenery along France's west coast. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Sky) was one of the riders who hit the tarmac in a crash which shattered the field in the closing kilometres of stage 4.

Mark Cavendish (Sky) was one of the riders who hit the tarmac in a crash which shattered the field in the closing kilometres of stage 4. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) sprints to the stage win in Rouen as lead-out man Greg Henderson is already celebrating in the background.

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) sprints to the stage win in Rouen as lead-out man Greg Henderson is already celebrating in the background. (Image credit: AFP)
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Bernhard Eisel (Sky) is given medical attention following the crash which disrupted the stage 4 finish.

Bernhard Eisel (Sky) is given medical attention following the crash which disrupted the stage 4 finish. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Points leader Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) shows off his custom-painted bike.

Points leader Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) shows off his custom-painted bike. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The peloton in action during stage 5, 196.5km from Rouen to Saint-Quentin.

The peloton in action during stage 5, 196.5km from Rouen to Saint-Quentin. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lotto Belisol's Marcel Sieberg congratulates teammate Andre Greipel after his stage victory in Saint-Quentin.

Lotto Belisol's Marcel Sieberg congratulates teammate Andre Greipel after his stage victory in Saint-Quentin. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The peloton rolls through the streets of Rouen during the neutral section at the stage start.

The peloton rolls through the streets of Rouen during the neutral section at the stage start. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lunch time for Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)

Lunch time for Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The peloton in action during stage 5 from Rouen to Saint-Quentin.

The peloton in action during stage 5 from Rouen to Saint-Quentin. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The finale of stage 5 did not go as planned for David Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp).

The finale of stage 5 did not go as planned for David Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp). (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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New neutral support bikes from Mavic?

New neutral support bikes from Mavic? (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) crashed heavily on stage 6 and would be forced to abandon.

Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) crashed heavily on stage 6 and would be forced to abandon. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) is taken to hospital after crashing out of stage 6.

Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) is taken to hospital after crashing out of stage 6. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) does his best Incredible Hulk pose as he wins stage 6 in Metz.

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) does his best Incredible Hulk pose as he wins stage 6 in Metz. (Image credit: AFP)
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Richie Porte (Sky) boards his team bus with the effects of three crashes on display.

Richie Porte (Sky) boards his team bus with the effects of three crashes on display. (Image credit: AFP)
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The crash that shattered the field with approximately 25km to go.

The crash that shattered the field with approximately 25km to go. (Image credit: AFP)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) looks like he went through a paper shredder.

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) looks like he went through a paper shredder. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The bike of Andre Greipel sports his trademark gorilla

The bike of Andre Greipel sports his trademark gorilla (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) wins in Metz over Andre Greipel

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) wins in Metz over Andre Greipel (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) shows off his skills at the top of La Planche des Belles Filles

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) shows off his skills at the top of La Planche des Belles Filles (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The breakaway passes some Anglophiles

The breakaway passes some Anglophiles (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The day wasn't entirely without crashes: Liquigas's Canuti landed on his feet, however

The day wasn't entirely without crashes: Liquigas's Canuti landed on his feet, however (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish worked hard for Team Sky, shutting bottles to the team leaders

Mark Cavendish worked hard for Team Sky, shutting bottles to the team leaders (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Froome looks back to see Evans distanced as the line approaches

Froome looks back to see Evans distanced as the line approaches (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Chris Froome (Sky) wins the 2012 Tour de France stage 7

Chris Froome (Sky) wins the 2012 Tour de France stage 7 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabian Cancellara finally had to give up the yellow jersey a week after he claimed it

Fabian Cancellara finally had to give up the yellow jersey a week after he claimed it (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Bradley Wiggins hugs teammate Chris Froome after their successful stage 7 in the Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins hugs teammate Chris Froome after their successful stage 7 in the Tour de France (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Marc Madiot was over the moon as Pinot rode to victory

Marc Madiot was over the moon as Pinot rode to victory (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) gets the stage victory in Porrentruy

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) gets the stage victory in Porrentruy (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A fan protests against doping at the Tour de France stage 8

A fan protests against doping at the Tour de France stage 8 (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) was top climber and most combative on stage 8

Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) was top climber and most combative on stage 8 (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Chris Froome (Team Sky) in the chasing group

Chris Froome (Team Sky) in the chasing group (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Cadel Evans (BMC) pushes to the line for second

Cadel Evans (BMC) pushes to the line for second (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Yellow jersey holder Bradley Wiggins (Sky) won the stage 9 time trial in Besançon and extended his general classification lead.

Yellow jersey holder Bradley Wiggins (Sky) won the stage 9 time trial in Besançon and extended his general classification lead. (Image credit: AFP)
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Chris Froome (Sky) is the picture of concentration en route to his second place finish.

Chris Froome (Sky) is the picture of concentration en route to his second place finish. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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US time trial champion Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp)

US time trial champion Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans had a visit with the family on the rest day

Cadel Evans had a visit with the family on the rest day (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins puts his feet up on the rest day

Bradley Wiggins puts his feet up on the rest day (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) is dreaming of polka dots on the rest day

Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) is dreaming of polka dots on the rest day (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Stunning scenery during stage 10 between Mâcon and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.

Stunning scenery during stage 10 between Mâcon and Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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How sweet it is. Thomas Voeckler's mere participation in the Tour was in doubt, yet despite his knee problems the Frenchman rode to victory on stage 10 after being on the attack nearly the entire stage.

How sweet it is. Thomas Voeckler's mere participation in the Tour was in doubt, yet despite his knee problems the Frenchman rode to victory on stage 10 after being on the attack nearly the entire stage. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Team Sky in control of the peloton for maillot jaune Bradley Wiggins.

Team Sky in control of the peloton for maillot jaune Bradley Wiggins. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) glances over his shoulder to make sure victory is his on stage 10.

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) glances over his shoulder to make sure victory is his on stage 10. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) gets some help from Bernard Hinault with the mountains classification jersey.

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) gets some help from Bernard Hinault with the mountains classification jersey. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tejay van Garderen (BMC) lost contact with the yellow jersey group in the closing kilometres of stage 10 and finished alone in 27th place.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) lost contact with the yellow jersey group in the closing kilometres of stage 10 and finished alone in 27th place. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Mark Cavendish gets a visit from the family

Mark Cavendish gets a visit from the family (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) takes a look at where his GC rivals are at the finish line in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) takes a look at where his GC rivals are at the finish line in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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British flags fly over Mark Cavendish as he is greeted by girlfriend Peta Todd and baby Delilah

British flags fly over Mark Cavendish as he is greeted by girlfriend Peta Todd and baby Delilah (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans (BMC) had a tough day.

Cadel Evans (BMC) had a tough day. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) in the team car

Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) in the team car (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Nibali and Wiggins congratulate each other at the finish

Nibali and Wiggins congratulate each other at the finish (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan)

Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Today's stage took the riders through the Alps for the first time

Today's stage took the riders through the Alps for the first time (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Pierre Rolland (Europcar) triumphs on stage 11

Pierre Rolland (Europcar) triumphs on stage 11 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Race leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky)

Race leader Bradley Wiggins (Sky) (Image credit: AFP)
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Pierre Rolland (Europcar) wins stage 11

Pierre Rolland (Europcar) wins stage 11 (Image credit: AFP)
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David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) celebrates his victory in stage 12 of the Tour de France.

David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) celebrates his victory in stage 12 of the Tour de France. (Image credit: AFP)
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David Millar (Garmin - Sharp) recovers after his win

David Millar (Garmin - Sharp) recovers after his win (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas) protest the finish

Peter Sagan (Liquigas) protest the finish (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Matthew Goss (Orica - GreenEdge) and Peter Sagan (Liquigas - Cannondale) sprint for points, but Sagan is not happy

Matthew Goss (Orica - GreenEdge) and Peter Sagan (Liquigas - Cannondale) sprint for points, but Sagan is not happy (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) continues to lead the Tour de France after stage 12.

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) continues to lead the Tour de France after stage 12. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) and Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R La Mondiale) sprint head-to-head in the final meters of stage 12.

David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) and Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R La Mondiale) sprint head-to-head in the final meters of stage 12. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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An exhausted David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) recovers after his winning effort.

An exhausted David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) recovers after his winning effort. (Image credit: AFP)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) celebrates his stage win

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) celebrates his stage win (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Even 13 stages into the Tour, the crashes continued

Even 13 stages into the Tour, the crashes continued (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The breakaway heads away from the water

The breakaway heads away from the water (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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FDJ's Anthony Roux gets some help with his footwear

FDJ's Anthony Roux gets some help with his footwear (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The riders enjoyed some stunning scenery on stage 13 at the 2012 Tour de France

The riders enjoyed some stunning scenery on stage 13 at the 2012 Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Astana's Alexander Vinokourov feels the pinch on stage 13 of the 2012 Tour de France

Astana's Alexander Vinokourov feels the pinch on stage 13 of the 2012 Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The leaders drive for the finish line on stage 13 at the 2012 Tour de France

The leaders drive for the finish line on stage 13 at the 2012 Tour de France (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Greipel (right) edges out Sagan for the win on stage 13 of the 2012 Tour de France

Greipel (right) edges out Sagan for the win on stage 13 of the 2012 Tour de France (Image credit: AFP)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) takes his fourth career Tour de France stage win

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) takes his fourth career Tour de France stage win (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Team Sky controlled the pace as riders including Evans chased back from flat tyres

Team Sky controlled the pace as riders including Evans chased back from flat tyres (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) works the breakaway

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) works the breakaway (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Evidence of the tacks strewn on the road by saboteurs in stage 14 at the 2012 Tour de France

Evidence of the tacks strewn on the road by saboteurs in stage 14 at the 2012 Tour de France (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The field gets a little strung out through the Florida streets.\

The field gets a little strung out through the Florida streets.\ (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Pierrick Fédrigo (FDJ-BigMat) outsprints Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp)

Pierrick Fédrigo (FDJ-BigMat) outsprints Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) (Image credit: AFP)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) spends some time in the hydrotherapy pool

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) spends some time in the hydrotherapy pool (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) out riding on the rest day near Pau

Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) out riding on the rest day near Pau (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Stunning scenery during stage 16 in the Pyrenees.

Stunning scenery during stage 16 in the Pyrenees. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins follows his Sky teammates in the Pyrenees.

Bradley Wiggins follows his Sky teammates in the Pyrenees. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) turned himself inside out to ultimately finish second on stage 16.

Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) turned himself inside out to ultimately finish second on stage 16. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) leads Brice Feillu (Saur-Sojasun)

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) leads Brice Feillu (Saur-Sojasun) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) attacks the yellow jersey group on the Peyresourde.

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) attacks the yellow jersey group on the Peyresourde. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali leads Sky teammates Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome on the descent to the finish line.

Vincenzo Nibali leads Sky teammates Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome on the descent to the finish line. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The early break was huge on stage 16, containing 38 riders.

The early break was huge on stage 16, containing 38 riders. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sky's Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome keep a close eye on GC rival Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale).

Sky's Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome keep a close eye on GC rival Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale). (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Frenchman Thomas Voeckler and Brice Feillu emerged from the early 38-man break.

Frenchman Thomas Voeckler and Brice Feillu emerged from the early 38-man break. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sky teammates Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome have neutralised the attack of Vincenzo Nibali on the final climb.

Sky teammates Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome have neutralised the attack of Vincenzo Nibali on the final climb. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Tour peloton in the Pyrenees en route from Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon during stage 16

The Tour peloton in the Pyrenees en route from Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon during stage 16 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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It was a beautiful day for racing as the Tour peloton faced a tough stage in the Pyrenees.

It was a beautiful day for racing as the Tour peloton faced a tough stage in the Pyrenees. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) in action during stage 16.

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) in action during stage 16. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Christopher Froome (Sky) leads Bradley Wiggins across the line

Christopher Froome (Sky) leads Bradley Wiggins across the line (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) climbs to the finish of stage 17.

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) climbs to the finish of stage 17. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Cadel Evans (BMC) digs deep on the climb to the finish.

Cadel Evans (BMC) digs deep on the climb to the finish. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Stage 17 winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Stage 17 winner Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Janez Brajkovic (Astana) suffered a crash

Janez Brajkovic (Astana) suffered a crash (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Janez Brajkovic in pain after his crash

Janez Brajkovic in pain after his crash (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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When Cavendish started his sprint, no one could follow

When Cavendish started his sprint, no one could follow (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish had a lead-out from none other than the Tour leader Bradley Wiggins

Mark Cavendish had a lead-out from none other than the Tour leader Bradley Wiggins (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) in yellow

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) in yellow (Image credit: AFP)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) led from start to finish in the time trial

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) led from start to finish in the time trial (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) overtook Cadel Evans his team leader

Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) overtook Cadel Evans his team leader (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) will ride into Paris tomorrow in yellow

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) will ride into Paris tomorrow in yellow (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Sky) sprints to victory on the Champs-Élysées.

Mark Cavendish (Sky) sprints to victory on the Champs-Élysées. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Members of the BMC Racing Team pose for a photo on the Champs-Élysées.

Members of the BMC Racing Team pose for a photo on the Champs-Élysées. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Don't mess with The Badger! Bernard Hinault pushes an interloper off the podium in Paris.

Don't mess with The Badger! Bernard Hinault pushes an interloper off the podium in Paris. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) on the streets of Paris during the Tour's final stage.

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) on the streets of Paris during the Tour's final stage. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Tour de France peloton under glorious summer sunshine on the Champs-Élysées

The Tour de France peloton under glorious summer sunshine on the Champs-Élysées (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Team Sky leads the Tour de France peloton into Paris and the final stage's finishing circuits.

Team Sky leads the Tour de France peloton into Paris and the final stage's finishing circuits. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Maillot jaune Bradley Wiggins with his Sky teammates early in stage 20.

Maillot jaune Bradley Wiggins with his Sky teammates early in stage 20. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Liquigas-Cannondale team members celebrate in Paris.

Liquigas-Cannondale team members celebrate in Paris. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Sky) outsprinted points leader Peter Sagan and (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) to win the 2012 Tour's final stage.

Mark Cavendish (Sky) outsprinted points leader Peter Sagan and (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) to win the 2012 Tour's final stage. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) celebrates on the Champs-Élysées after a remarkable Tour de France debut.

Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) celebrates on the Champs-Élysées after a remarkable Tour de France debut. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2012 Tour de France jersey winners (l-r): Peter Sagan, Bradley Wiggins, Thomas Voeckler and Tejay van Garderen

2012 Tour de France jersey winners (l-r): Peter Sagan, Bradley Wiggins, Thomas Voeckler and Tejay van Garderen (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Team Sky riders and staff have much to celebrate on the Champs-Élysées.

Team Sky riders and staff have much to celebrate on the Champs-Élysées. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins is congratulated by Sky teammate Michael Rogers as they cross the finish line in Paris.

2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins is congratulated by Sky teammate Michael Rogers as they cross the finish line in Paris. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins, the first British Tour de France champion, celebrates with his Sky team.

Bradley Wiggins, the first British Tour de France champion, celebrates with his Sky team. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tejay van Garderen (BMC) joins Greg LeMond and Andy Hampsten as the only Americans to win the Tour's young rider classification.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC) joins Greg LeMond and Andy Hampsten as the only Americans to win the Tour's young rider classification. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) leads Mark Cavendish

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) leads Mark Cavendish (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Froome, Wiggins and Nibali on the podium

Froome, Wiggins and Nibali on the podium (Image credit: Sirotti)
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World Champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) wins his third stage of the Tour

World Champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) wins his third stage of the Tour (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) won two stages and the KOM

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) won two stages and the KOM (Image credit: Sirotti)
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World Champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) wins in Paris for the fourth time

World Champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) wins in Paris for the fourth time (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Wiggins (in yellow) moves to the front of the peloton

Wiggins (in yellow) moves to the front of the peloton (Image credit: Sirotti)

The results of the opening prologue in Liège served-up a fitting snapshot for how the Tour de France would unfold: Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) won his fifth Tour prologue, Bradley Wiggins (Sky) finished second and his team won the day’s team classification. Cancellara fought valiantly to hold the yellow jersey for the entire first week until the race hit the mountains in stage seven. Sky demonstrated just how powerful they would be when the road tilted upward and Wiggins took over the race lead. It was a scene that would be repeated over the entire race.

Sky’s relentless pace-setting caused contenders to fall away stage after stage. Classification riders seemed resigned to hang-on as Sky’s domestiques went about demoralising anyone with ambitions to improve their position. Riders attacked and were duly wound back and dislodged from the ever-shrinking peloton. Wiggins extended his lead in the time trials while his teammate Chris Froome secured in his second-place spot.

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) may have looked doubtful for a repeat of last year's exploits but he arguably enjoyed a better year by taking two stage wins and the polka-dot jersey into France. He wasn’t gifted the mountains classification and his attacking style was 'interesting' to watch.

The sprints were the most exciting part of the race as Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale, Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) and Mark Cavendish (Sky) traded wins. Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) was in it for the green jersey but Sagan was simply too good. Cavendish rounded-out his Tour with a fourth win on the Champs-Élysées while Sagan won the points classification.