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Gallery: First nine stages of the Tour de France

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The Orica-GreenEdge bus got stuck under the finish as the pack raced to the finish of stage 1.

The Orica-GreenEdge bus got stuck under the finish as the pack raced to the finish of stage 1.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Garmin would not be the powerhouse team it sometimes is in team time trials on stage 4

Garmin would not be the powerhouse team it sometimes is in team time trials on stage 4
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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It wasn't a surprise to fans, but there were some crashes during stage 1.

It wasn't a surprise to fans, but there were some crashes during stage 1.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) won stage 1 in a sprint

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) won stage 1 in a sprint
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) enjoyed his day in yellow during stage 2

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) enjoyed his day in yellow during stage 2
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Chris Froome (Sky) tested his legs on stage 2

Chris Froome (Sky) tested his legs on stage 2
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Corsica provided a dramatic background for the first three stages.

Corsica provided a dramatic background for the first three stages.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Pierre Rolland (Europcar) in polka dots during stage 3.

Pierre Rolland (Europcar) in polka dots during stage 3.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jan Bakelandts (RadioShack-Leopard) was happy to be in yellow after stage 2

Jan Bakelandts (RadioShack-Leopard) was happy to be in yellow after stage 2
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) sprints to a stage 3 win

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) sprints to a stage 3 win
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Orica-GreenEdge won the stage 4 team time trial

Orica-GreenEdge won the stage 4 team time trial
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) took over yellow after stage 4

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) took over yellow after stage 4
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) hit the deck hard during stage 5

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) hit the deck hard during stage 5
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step) won stage 5

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step) won stage 5
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Cannondale) seemed to be enjoying the green jersey during the awards ceremony of stage 5

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) seemed to be enjoying the green jersey during the awards ceremony of stage 5
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) was happy to win stage 6

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) was happy to win stage 6
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Janez Brajkovic (Astana) crashed hard enough during stage 6 that it would bring an end to his Tour de France

Janez Brajkovic (Astana) crashed hard enough during stage 6 that it would bring an end to his Tour de France
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) became the first African to wear yellow at the Tour after stage 6

Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) became the first African to wear yellow at the Tour after stage 6
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) in yellow during stage 7

Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) in yellow during stage 7
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Peter Sagan (Cannondale) got the stage win he was chasing during stage 7

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) got the stage win he was chasing during stage 7
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) crashed again on stage 7, which would cause him to withdraw from the Tour

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Sharp) crashed again on stage 7, which would cause him to withdraw from the Tour
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) also lost time to Chris Froome during stage 8

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) also lost time to Chris Froome during stage 8
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans (BMC) would suffer and lose time on stage 8

Cadel Evans (BMC) would suffer and lose time on stage 8
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Chris Froome (Sky) won stage 8 and took over the Tour de France race lead

Chris Froome (Sky) won stage 8 and took over the Tour de France race lead
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Richie Porte (Sky) had a rough day in the mountains and lost time during stage 9

Richie Porte (Sky) had a rough day in the mountains and lost time during stage 9
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) outsprinted Jakob Fuglsang for the stage 9 victory

Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) outsprinted Jakob Fuglsang for the stage 9 victory
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Chris Froome (Sky) racing in yellow during stage 9

Chris Froome (Sky) racing in yellow during stage 9
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Jan Bakelants (RadioShack Leopard) is delighted with his victory

Jan Bakelants (RadioShack Leopard) is delighted with his victory
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) celebrates on the podium.

Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) celebrates on the podium.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Nairo Quintana (Movistar) attacked repeatedly to put pressure on yellow jersey Chris Froome (Sky)

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) attacked repeatedly to put pressure on yellow jersey Chris Froome (Sky)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) moved up to second overall after Richie Porte cracked during stage 9

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) moved up to second overall after Richie Porte cracked during stage 9
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) has a broken rib and sits 35th on general classification – but he went on the attack today

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) has a broken rib and sits 35th on general classification – but he went on the attack today
(Image credit: Sam Dansie)

The first nine stages of the 2013 Tour de France produced plenty of drama. It all started out with the Orica-GreenEdge bus stuck under the finish line banner as the peloton charged toward the finish of stage 1. Fortunately, the bus was removed just in time, although the finish was moved twice by officials en route.

It's common for the first part of the Tour to include many crashes as the large peloton nervously establishes its pecking order, but the confusion resulting from the judges decisions on the opening stage caused a massive pile-up. Although all 198 riders were awarded the same time and continued into the race, American Ted King, suffering from a separated shoulder, could not ride in his aerodynamic position and was dropped in the team time trial and missed the time cut on stage 4.

The crashes continued in the remainder of the opening week, with Janez Brajkovic and Christian Vande Velde among those eliminated after crashes.

The first nine stages of the 2013 Tour de France gave several men the chance to wear yellow, including Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano), a surprising Jan Bakelants (RadioShack), whose solo move on stage 2 upset the sprinters. 

Simon Gerrans gave Orica GreenEdge its first Tour de France stage win on the next day, then helped drive his team to a narrow victory and the maillot jaune in the team time trial. He later passed the honour along to teammate Daryl Impey, who made history as the first South African to lead the Tour.

The big-named sprinters of the race took turns winning stages on stage 5 through 7, with Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) each taking turns on the stage podium. Sagan's repeat victory in the green jersey competition seems all but assured.

The mountains jersey has gone from Juan José Lobato to Pierre Rolland, who looked like a measles vaccination advocate in his spotted knicks and jersey. It passed briefly to Blel Kadri (AG2R) and then back to Rolland, who continues to dizzy in the his white kit with big red polka dots.

The first mountain stages were described as some of the hardest days on the bike for a number of riders, even those outside of the gruppetto. The stage to Ax3 Domaines put just about everyone except stage winner and new race leader Chris Froome (Sky) out of contention, while the following day it was the Sky team's turn to suffer, as second placed Richie Porte dropped out of contention, and Vasili Kiryienka missed the time cut. Froome held onto yellow, as a two-man escape succeeded and Dan Martin (Garmin Sharp) gave Ireland a stage victory in the Tour 50 years after Seamus Elliot put the country on cycling's map.

Check out the attached gallery featuring some of the highlights from the first nine stages.