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Waiting for the Tour de France - Gallery

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Vive le Tour!

Vive le Tour!
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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This high-wire performer has nothing on the balancing act the UCI commissaires have had to pull off so far this year

This high-wire performer has nothing on the balancing act the UCI commissaires have had to pull off so far this year
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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This wheel definitely has a hidden motor

This wheel definitely has a hidden motor
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Apparently she doesn't know what's going on either

Apparently she doesn't know what's going on either
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Bic lighters are big in Europe

Bic lighters are big in Europe
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The podium hostesses also have time to kill waiting for the peloton.

The podium hostesses also have time to kill waiting for the peloton.
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A pizza chef in search of his oven

A pizza chef in search of his oven
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Special delivery at the 2017 Tour de France

Special delivery at the 2017 Tour de France
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This yellow jersey is hard to miss in the caravan

This yellow jersey is hard to miss in the caravan
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Keeping the crowd pumped up before the race flies into town

Keeping the crowd pumped up before the race flies into town
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Bonjour!

Bonjour!
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You don't want to play chicken on the road with this vehicle

You don't want to play chicken on the road with this vehicle
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Citrus on wheels

Citrus on wheels
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Everything Bic is big at the Tour de France

Everything Bic is big at the Tour de France
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French fries?

French fries?
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This rig wants spectators to MAKE SOME NOISE!

This rig wants spectators to MAKE SOME NOISE!
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The local canines don't want to be left out when the Tour comes to town

The local canines don't want to be left out when the Tour comes to town
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A nice spot for these spectators 350 metres from the finish

A nice spot for these spectators 350 metres from the finish
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Keeping the Tour de France rolling, one rooster car at a time

Keeping the Tour de France rolling, one rooster car at a time
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A father and son take in the sights on one of the climbs during stage 12

A father and son take in the sights on one of the climbs during stage 12
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Is Peter Sagan driving that tractor?

Is Peter Sagan driving that tractor?
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Big wheels rolling though the Pyrenees.

Big wheels rolling though the Pyrenees.
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A water cannon cools down spectators as temperatures soar

A water cannon cools down spectators as temperatures soar
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Gendarmes are on site to ensure everything goes smoothly as the race passes by.

Gendarmes are on site to ensure everything goes smoothly as the race passes by.
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Bringing out the vintage transportation machines at the 2017 Tour de France

Bringing out the vintage transportation machines at the 2017 Tour de France
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Towns along the route dress up for the Tour and their chance to shine

Towns along the route dress up for the Tour and their chance to shine
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A gendarme keeps watch as marketers ply their wares

A gendarme keeps watch as marketers ply their wares
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This guy's gotten a bit big-headed.

This guy's gotten a bit big-headed.
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More free products for the waiting throngs

More free products for the waiting throngs
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"I love a parade"

"I love a parade"
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The Tour peloton can't slow down the machines of agriculture

The Tour peloton can't slow down the machines of agriculture
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The Tour de France loves sunflowers!

The Tour de France loves sunflowers!
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel's collection of daily green jersey plushy toys sit in the Quick-Step bus

Marcel Kittel's collection of daily green jersey plushy toys sit in the Quick-Step bus
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dedicated fans remain for the podium as Simon Yates gets another white jersey

Dedicated fans remain for the podium as Simon Yates gets another white jersey
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Flying the French flag for the equine fans

Flying the French flag for the equine fans
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Even the local livestock get dressed up for the occasion.

Even the local livestock get dressed up for the occasion.
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Straw bales provide a viewing platform for these young fans

Straw bales provide a viewing platform for these young fans
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Singing while swinging at the Tour de France

Singing while swinging at the Tour de France
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FDJ and lucky No. 13

FDJ and lucky No. 13
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Vittel is a prominent sponsor of the 2017 Tour de France

Vittel is a prominent sponsor of the 2017 Tour de France
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Spinning up some water along the route

Spinning up some water along the route
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Spectators along the road are eager for freebies from the publicity caravan

Spectators along the road are eager for freebies from the publicity caravan
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When the Tour de France goes past your house

When the Tour de France goes past your house
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The ubiquitous helicopter lets you know when the peloton is approaching

The ubiquitous helicopter lets you know when the peloton is approaching
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Peter Sagan is still at the Tour in spirit

Peter Sagan is still at the Tour in spirit
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Two-time Tour de France stage winner Leon Van Bon is now a photographer at the Tour de France

Two-time Tour de France stage winner Leon Van Bon is now a photographer at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Bike racing fans are a dedicated lot, packing myriad sundry items into the car or onto the bike and then heading into the nether regions of rural France to catch a brief glimpse of the Tour de France. They line the roadsides in towns, farmland and mountain passes to cheer on the peloton as it rushes headlong toward the next sprint or crawls painfully up to a finish line among the clouds.

Waiting for the peloton is anything but sedate, however. Among the picnics and partying, the Tour's ubiquitous publicity caravan is out on the course hours ahead of the peloton, passing out treats and samples for companies looking to cash in on a captive audience eager for entertainment. Locals along the route also get into the act, spicing up the roads with decorations and their own brand of regional humour.

Although it's true that every day on the Tour is different, it's also true that some things never change. Vive le Tour!