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Tour gallery: Christian Vande Velde

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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) looks relaxed before the start of stage five.

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) looks relaxed before the start of stage five. (Image credit: Isabelle Duchesne)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) about to depart on a training ride with his team.

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) about to depart on a training ride with his team. (Image credit: AFP)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) en route to a 17th place finish.

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) en route to a 17th place finish. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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USA's Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) finishes Tour de France stage six in Barcelona.

USA's Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) finishes Tour de France stage six in Barcelona. (Image credit: sirott)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) and Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) in Tour de France stage seven.

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) and Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) in Tour de France stage seven. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Garmin-Slipstream teammates Bradley Wiggins (L) and Christian Vande Velde climb to the finish.

Garmin-Slipstream teammates Bradley Wiggins (L) and Christian Vande Velde climb to the finish. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Slipstream)

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Slipstream) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) gets a wheel from his teammate Martijn Maaskant after crashing on stage 11.

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) gets a wheel from his teammate Martijn Maaskant after crashing on stage 11. (Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) fought his way back to the leaders but couldn't hold the pace when the race splintered on Verbier

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) fought his way back to the leaders but couldn't hold the pace when the race splintered on Verbier (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Christian Vande Velde struggled on the final climb.

Christian Vande Velde struggled on the final climb. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) climbs the Col de la Colombière.

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) climbs the Col de la Colombière. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Christian Vande Velde paces Garmin-Slipstream teammate Bradley Wiggins up the Col de la Colombière.

Christian Vande Velde paces Garmin-Slipstream teammate Bradley Wiggins up the Col de la Colombière. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) approaches the finish line.

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) approaches the finish line. (Image credit: Sirotti)

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Slipstream) has done well enough this season to make the start line.

His crash in the third stage at the Giro d'Italia should have seen him spend July at home. Instead, a miraculous recovery helped him line up with the Garmin-Slipstream in Monaco.

Unfortunately for the Illinois local, the Tour de France has a way of revealing any blips in preparation. A bad day on the road to Verbier makes it look unlikely that Vande Velde will repeat or improve on his fourth place from last year. Still, after two and a half weeks he's in 10th place.

Click here to view images of Christian Vande Velde's Tour de France