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Tour de France tech: Preparing for the Tour

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Race bikes and spare bikes alike are overhauled before the Tour starts

Race bikes and spare bikes alike are overhauled before the Tour starts (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Fine-tuning the position of Peter Stetina's brake levers with a handy measuring tool

Fine-tuning the position of Peter Stetina's brake levers with a handy measuring tool (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Saddle bags on professionals bikes? Right before the Tour, perhaps

Saddle bags on professionals bikes? Right before the Tour, perhaps (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Tinkoff-Saxo Bank has two clothing bags per rider, with the bottom portion holding shoes separately

Tinkoff-Saxo Bank has two clothing bags per rider, with the bottom portion holding shoes separately (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Matteo Tossato shows off the contents of his clothing bag, from the neck gaiter in his hand to multiple base layers. The most important piece, he said, is the Gabba rain jacket

Matteo Tossato shows off the contents of his clothing bag, from the neck gaiter in his hand to multiple base layers. The most important piece, he said, is the Gabba rain jacket (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The Sportful Hot Pack vest and jacket pack down to tiny balls

The Sportful Hot Pack vest and jacket pack down to tiny balls (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Team trucks and busses are rolling water fountains

Team trucks and busses are rolling water fountains (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Tinkoff-Saxo Bank boss Bjarne riis, a former Tour de France winner himself, chats with Nicolas Roche

Tinkoff-Saxo Bank boss Bjarne riis, a former Tour de France winner himself, chats with Nicolas Roche (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Another former Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador choose to start the race on a Specialized Tarmac

Another former Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador choose to start the race on a Specialized Tarmac (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Soigneurs stock the bikes with bottles just before the riders arrive

Soigneurs stock the bikes with bottles just before the riders arrive (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Before the race, Fabian Cancellara obliges fans with photos

Before the race, Fabian Cancellara obliges fans with photos (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Mechanics aren't the only ones who need to check their gear. Medical personnel go through a practice session of evacuating an injured person

Mechanics aren't the only ones who need to check their gear. Medical personnel go through a practice session of evacuating an injured person (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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This man in the neck brace is smiling because he is only a test dummy

This man in the neck brace is smiling because he is only a test dummy (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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As Tour de France rules state that the squad leading the team general classification must wear yellow helmets, Trek had a box of yellow lids shipped to them at the start of th race. Unfortunately, the helmet manufacturer included last year's sponsors' logos, which will surely be removed before the helmets are seen

As Tour de France rules state that the squad leading the team general classification must wear yellow helmets, Trek had a box of yellow lids shipped to them at the start of th race. Unfortunately, the helmet manufacturer included last year's sponsors' logos, which will surely be removed before the helmets are seen (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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While conversations with mechanics can get heated as the three-week race wears on, for now most riders are civil

While conversations with mechanics can get heated as the three-week race wears on, for now most riders are civil (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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As a general rule for amateurs, you should never put on new parts the night before a big event. But these mechanics are pros

As a general rule for amateurs, you should never put on new parts the night before a big event. But these mechanics are pros (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Tinkoff-Saxo Bank recently switched over from Zipp to Specialized's Roval wheels. You'll likely see the Zipps come on for the time trial, however

Tinkoff-Saxo Bank recently switched over from Zipp to Specialized's Roval wheels. You'll likely see the Zipps come on for the time trial, however (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Cleaning bikes is a nonstop process. Note the yellow cover for the Stages power meter, put on for washing

Cleaning bikes is a nonstop process. Note the yellow cover for the Stages power meter, put on for washing (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Who knew a turbo trainer front wheel riser block had an ingenious alternate use?

Who knew a turbo trainer front wheel riser block had an ingenious alternate use? (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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A Cannondale Pro Cycling mechanic preparing the rider's frame numbers and timing chips for fitting

A Cannondale Pro Cycling mechanic preparing the rider's frame numbers and timing chips for fitting (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Our sense of aesthetics can't help feeling this frame number could have been better placed

Our sense of aesthetics can't help feeling this frame number could have been better placed (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The AG2R team's frame numbers are ready for fitting

The AG2R team's frame numbers are ready for fitting (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Pro mechanics' work is equal parts wrenching and logistics

Pro mechanics' work is equal parts wrenching and logistics (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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A few bikes arrived at the Tour fresh from other races

A few bikes arrived at the Tour fresh from other races (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The day before the Tour began, two local riders, Tim Curtis and Paolo Corcoran, found themselves taking Europcar out for a ride as local guides

The day before the Tour began, two local riders, Tim Curtis and Paolo Corcoran, found themselves taking Europcar out for a ride as local guides (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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With millions of eyes on the riders, non-sponsor-correct product is blacked out

With millions of eyes on the riders, non-sponsor-correct product is blacked out (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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With stage 5 tackling the Arenberg Forest of Paris-Roubaix fame, many teams were testing out their cobbles bikes before the race started

With stage 5 tackling the Arenberg Forest of Paris-Roubaix fame, many teams were testing out their cobbles bikes before the race started (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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While riders get to choose many variations of their gear, including chainrings, this bike seems unusual

While riders get to choose many variations of their gear, including chainrings, this bike seems unusual (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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A 50/34 compact on a Team Sky machine?

A 50/34 compact on a Team Sky machine? (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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That compact crank would belong to Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford

That compact crank would belong to Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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An actual rider, Danny Pate, had 53/44 rings on his stage 5 bike

An actual rider, Danny Pate, had 53/44 rings on his stage 5 bike (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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As basic as a gear shift check is, it's a vital last step for every bike

As basic as a gear shift check is, it's a vital last step for every bike (Image credit: BikeRadar)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

During the lead-up to the Tour de France, mechanics and riders invested hours to ensure their bikes and bodies were as finely tuned and ready to roll as possible.

From applying frame numbers and timing chips, to building up complete bikes from new frames, mechanics were plenty busy. Two local riders even found themselves pulled into the effort, having been recruited by Europcar to lead a ride on familiar roads.

With stage 5 taking riders through the Arenberg Forest, of Paris-Roubaix fame, teams were prepping cobbles bikes in advance of the race as well as the standard race machines for the first three stages in England.

BikeRadar visited every team ahead of the start to bring you this in-depth photo gallery.

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