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Tour de France mechanics' prologue - Gallery

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With Richie Porte, BMC is hoping for one more sticker to add to the team car

With Richie Porte, BMC is hoping for one more sticker to add to the team car (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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By UCI rule, mechanics can only scoot saddles so far forward. But riders still creep forward on their TT bikes, so a little grip can help keep them anchored on their machines

By UCI rule, mechanics can only scoot saddles so far forward. But riders still creep forward on their TT bikes, so a little grip can help keep them anchored on their machines (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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And Froome's bikes have seen some wear and tear, too

And Froome's bikes have seen some wear and tear, too (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Defending champ Chris Froome has his bikes built and cleaned like everyone else on Team Sky

Defending champ Chris Froome has his bikes built and cleaned like everyone else on Team Sky (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Shimano's Race Support was a near-constant presence around its eight sponsored teams, with vehicles packed full of new product

Shimano's Race Support was a near-constant presence around its eight sponsored teams, with vehicles packed full of new product (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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And sometimes a gentle hand is enough

And sometimes a gentle hand is enough (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Sometimes bike parts need a little forceful encouragement

Sometimes bike parts need a little forceful encouragement (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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There's another way to use a bike workstandÉ

There's another way to use a bike workstandÉ (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Cell’’ÿ

Cell’’ÿ (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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This is one of the more ridiculous cover-ups we have seen

This is one of the more ridiculous cover-ups we have seen (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Because of his ovalized rings, Froome's Bollide TT bike has a unique chain catcher

Because of his ovalized rings, Froome's Bollide TT bike has a unique chain catcher (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Team cars often get a refresh before the start of the Tour

Team cars often get a refresh before the start of the Tour (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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You and I may use electronic trainers for Zwift; BMC's Tour riders use them to warm up for the biggest race in the world

You and I may use electronic trainers for Zwift; BMC's Tour riders use them to warm up for the biggest race in the world (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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In addiiton to standard bike tools, Tour mechanics also have precise tools for setting up bikes to riders' fit coordinates

In addiiton to standard bike tools, Tour mechanics also have precise tools for setting up bikes to riders' fit coordinates (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Here's something you didn't see at the Tour de France 10 years ago: a portable battery for charging a fleet of Shimano Di2 batteries

Here's something you didn't see at the Tour de France 10 years ago: a portable battery for charging a fleet of Shimano Di2 batteries (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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While race numbers are often mounted at the rear brake caliper, BMC's Teammachine SLR01 bikes have a different configuration

While race numbers are often mounted at the rear brake caliper, BMC's Teammachine SLR01 bikes have a different configuration (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Two days before the opening time trial, Geraint Thomas puts in an effort on his TT bike

Two days before the opening time trial, Geraint Thomas puts in an effort on his TT bike (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Team Sky's Mikel Nieve talks with mechanic Ryan Bonser about his handlebar set-up

Team Sky's Mikel Nieve talks with mechanic Ryan Bonser about his handlebar set-up (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Nor does clothing wash itself

Nor does clothing wash itself (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Just like bikes, team busses don't wash and shine themselves

Just like bikes, team busses don't wash and shine themselves (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Each rider has a rain bag that goes in the follow car on training days before the Tour

Each rider has a rain bag that goes in the follow car on training days before the Tour (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Some riders hop on without thought; others give their bikes a close inspection

Some riders hop on without thought; others give their bikes a close inspection (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Geoff Brown has been gluing wheels for years

Geoff Brown has been gluing wheels for years (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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New bearings get hammered into Mavic wheels at Cannondale

New bearings get hammered into Mavic wheels at Cannondale (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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At only 14km long, the Tour's stage 1 time trial prompted many riders to bust out the big rings - and mechanics to adjust the front derailleurs accordingly

At only 14km long, the Tour's stage 1 time trial prompted many riders to bust out the big rings - and mechanics to adjust the front derailleurs accordingly (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Sunweb's truck is a tightly organized affair

Sunweb's truck is a tightly organized affair (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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As this year's Tour starts with a time trial, mechanics worked to prep road and TT bikes

As this year's Tour starts with a time trial, mechanics worked to prep road and TT bikes (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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The Tour de France isn't the first rodeo for most mechanics, nor is it the first race for many bikes in attendance, as old race numbers are clipped off and replaced with new ones

The Tour de France isn't the first rodeo for most mechanics, nor is it the first race for many bikes in attendance, as old race numbers are clipped off and replaced with new ones (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Think you could get a tubular on straight the first time? Good luck with that

Think you could get a tubular on straight the first time? Good luck with that (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Team Lotto'Jumbo mechanics use a Tacx trainer wheel block to protect wheels while mounting fresh tubulars

Team Lotto'Jumbo mechanics use a Tacx trainer wheel block to protect wheels while mounting fresh tubulars (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Some bikes just get fresh tape, tires and chains, but many bikes are built up from scratch for the Tour

Some bikes just get fresh tape, tires and chains, but many bikes are built up from scratch for the Tour (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Building and maintaining machines is a critical part of the job, but the work isn't done until every bike shines

Building and maintaining machines is a critical part of the job, but the work isn't done until every bike shines (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Part of being a Tour de France mechanic is the art of improvising when working on the road

Part of being a Tour de France mechanic is the art of improvising when working on the road (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Sunweb's Warren Barguil opted for a massive 58t big ring

Sunweb's Warren Barguil opted for a massive 58t big ring (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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As teams often do, Sunweb recruited a local rider (in Giro kit) to lead a ride outside of Dusseldorf

As teams often do, Sunweb recruited a local rider (in Giro kit) to lead a ride outside of Dusseldorf (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Drink mix Is marked with an 'X' on the bottle

Drink mix Is marked with an 'X' on the bottle (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Some are water, some are drink mix, but all get a quick towel off so riders have perfectly dry bottles to grab

Some are water, some are drink mix, but all get a quick towel off so riders have perfectly dry bottles to grab (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Thirsty?

Thirsty? (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Every team starts the Tour with a hefty supply of musette bags

Every team starts the Tour with a hefty supply of musette bags (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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It might be raining for the stage 1 time trial, but if it's warm, Sunweb soigneurs have ice vests at the ready

It might be raining for the stage 1 time trial, but if it's warm, Sunweb soigneurs have ice vests at the ready (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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You have an air compressor in the vehicle you drive to races, too, right?

You have an air compressor in the vehicle you drive to races, too, right? (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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While titanium bolts are all fine and good, the humble electrical tape sees widespread use among mechanics for things like security race transponders

While titanium bolts are all fine and good, the humble electrical tape sees widespread use among mechanics for things like security race transponders (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Team riders have a mini buffet of ride food to pull from before short training rides

Team riders have a mini buffet of ride food to pull from before short training rides (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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With rain in the forecast, Sunweb packed rain bags in the follow car

With rain in the forecast, Sunweb packed rain bags in the follow car (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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To avoid injury... Please treat mechanics with respsect

To avoid injury... Please treat mechanics with respsect (Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Entire fleets of Tour de France race bikes don’t just build themselves, you know.

In the days before the Tour kicks off with a 14km time trial in Dusseldorf, Germany, team mechanics put in long hours to build, rebuild, wash and tune multiple bikes for each rider.

While much of this routine is, in fact, routine for veteran mechanics, the Tour can add a little extra spice, as brands rush to capitalise on the cycling world’s attention to showcase new products.

Click through the gallery above for a look at the handiwork of Tour de France mechanics.

Sometimes a gentle hand is enough