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Gallery: A brutal first ten days of the Tour de France

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Seen it all before: Chris Horner takes a time out after stage 5

Seen it all before: Chris Horner takes a time out after stage 5 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) is forced out the Tour de France with a broken leg

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) is forced out the Tour de France with a broken leg (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) put time into his rivals on stage 8

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) put time into his rivals on stage 8 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) gives France their first stage win

Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) gives France their first stage win (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) is forced to pick himself up off the deck

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) is forced to pick himself up off the deck (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A Team Netapp-Endura rider checks on his teammate

A Team Netapp-Endura rider checks on his teammate (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Paul Voss (Team Netapp-Endura) crashed but was able to continue

Paul Voss (Team Netapp-Endura) crashed but was able to continue (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Riders crash before the finishline in Nancy

Riders crash before the finishline in Nancy (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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There were several falls on the stage to Nancy

There were several falls on the stage to Nancy (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andrew Talansky falls heavily in the Tour de France

Andrew Talansky falls heavily in the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andrew Talansky suffers his second fall, this time after mixing it in the sprint

Andrew Talansky suffers his second fall, this time after mixing it in the sprint (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jesus Hernandez (Tinkoff Saxo) crashes out of the Tour de France

Jesus Hernandez (Tinkoff Saxo) crashes out of the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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IAM Sylvain Chavanel. The French rider goes on the attack on stage 8

IAM Sylvain Chavanel. The French rider goes on the attack on stage 8 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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World champion Rui Costa shows the strain on stage 8

World champion Rui Costa shows the strain on stage 8 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A battered Tejay van Garderen is helped at the finish

A battered Tejay van Garderen is helped at the finish (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) crashed out of the Tour on stage 10

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) crashed out of the Tour on stage 10 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andrew Talansky lost his GC ambitions on stage 10

Andrew Talansky lost his GC ambitions on stage 10 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) crashed and broke his leg on stage 10

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) crashed and broke his leg on stage 10 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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 Tejay van Garderen shows grit and determination on stage 10

Tejay van Garderen shows grit and determination on stage 10 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jurgen Van Den Broeck looks up a the clock after losing time

Jurgen Van Den Broeck looks up a the clock after losing time (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bauke Mollema battles illness and his rivals in the first ten days

Bauke Mollema battles illness and his rivals in the first ten days (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Teamwork: Tony Martin gives it everything for Michal Kwiatkowski

Teamwork: Tony Martin gives it everything for Michal Kwiatkowski (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tony Gallopin pulls on the yellow jersey at the Tour de France

Tony Gallopin pulls on the yellow jersey at the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A different kind of shock and awe for Tony Gallopin

A different kind of shock and awe for Tony Gallopin (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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An emotional moment for Tony Gallopin as he realises he leads the Tour de France

An emotional moment for Tony Gallopin as he realises he leads the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Unstoppable: Tony Martin heads for a stage win

Unstoppable: Tony Martin heads for a stage win (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Geraint Thomas survives a stage but then runs straight into the media

Geraint Thomas survives a stage but then runs straight into the media (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was another faller in the first week

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was another faller in the first week (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Another Sky rider is out of the Tour. This time it's Xabier Zandio

Another Sky rider is out of the Tour. This time it's Xabier Zandio (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andre Greipel shows his delight at taking a stage in the Tour de France

Andre Greipel shows his delight at taking a stage in the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Back on French soil and Chris Froome falls

Back on French soil and Chris Froome falls (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) on the podium at the Tour de France

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) on the podium at the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jan Bakelants was another crash victim

Jan Bakelants was another crash victim (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel (Giant Shimano) dominated the opening stages

Marcel Kittel (Giant Shimano) dominated the opening stages (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The UK provided huge support for the Tour de France

The UK provided huge support for the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Huge crowds turned out to watch the Tour de France in the UK

Huge crowds turned out to watch the Tour de France in the UK (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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It seems like eternity since Chris Froome attacked on the second stage

It seems like eternity since Chris Froome attacked on the second stage (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tony Martin (Omega Pharma QuickStep) goes on the attack

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma QuickStep) goes on the attack (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vinenzo Nibali shares the kisses after his win on stage 2

Vinenzo Nibali shares the kisses after his win on stage 2 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma QuickStep) crashed out of the Tour on stage 1

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma QuickStep) crashed out of the Tour on stage 1 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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This time there's nothing his teammates can do. Mark Cavendish is out of the Tour de France

This time there's nothing his teammates can do. Mark Cavendish is out of the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel thanks his teammates after winning the opening stage

Marcel Kittel thanks his teammates after winning the opening stage (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The beginning of the end for Chris Froome's Tour de France challenge

The beginning of the end for Chris Froome's Tour de France challenge (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome (Team Sky) chases back after a fall on stage four

Chris Froome (Team Sky) chases back after a fall on stage four (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jurgen Van Den Broeck holds his nerve through a cobbled section

Jurgen Van Den Broeck holds his nerve through a cobbled section (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Classics specialist Fabian Cancellara in action

Classics specialist Fabian Cancellara in action (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A determined looking Lars Boom leads Vincenzo Nibali behind

A determined looking Lars Boom leads Vincenzo Nibali behind (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome fell twice on stage 5 and left the race before the cobbles

Chris Froome fell twice on stage 5 and left the race before the cobbles (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Andrew Talansky hits the deck on stage 5

Andrew Talansky hits the deck on stage 5 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Race leader Vincenzo Nibali manages to keep out of trouble. Just

Race leader Vincenzo Nibali manages to keep out of trouble. Just (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome's Tour de France is almost over after he falls again

Chris Froome's Tour de France is almost over after he falls again (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) rides through the conditions

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) rides through the conditions (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Movistar) finds himself left on the road after a fall

Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Movistar) finds himself left on the road after a fall (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chris Froome fell heavily on his left side on stage four of the Tour

Chris Froome fell heavily on his left side on stage four of the Tour (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mark Cavendish leaning on the barriers after his stage 1 crash

Mark Cavendish leaning on the barriers after his stage 1 crash (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Just take me to the gallery.

We’ve seen Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali arrive at the race with his 2013 Giro d’Italia form and win two impressive stage wins and solidify his place at the top of the overall, as well as Peter Sagan, Tony Martin and Marcel Kittel thrive on centre stage.

The French have enjoyed their share of the spotlight too with Blel Kardi winning at Gérardmer and Tony Gallopin capturing the malliot jaune for a day.

And yet we’ve seen the cruel side of bike racing too, with crash after crash and professional athletes leaving the race with broken bones and shattered spirits. The stage to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut will live long in Tour de France’s memory as it encapsulated everything about the sport, from the bravery and brilliance to the fine lines between success and failure.

Yet out of the despair and anguish new reputations can be forged as four French entrench themselves in the higher echelons of the overall and Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen vie with old hands Alejandro Valverde and Vinenzo Nibali.

Tim de Waele has been at every stage, photographing every key moment from this year’s race and we’ve compiled the best of the images so far.