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Gallery: Tour de France team presentation

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Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) rode in on his newest team bike

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) rode in on his newest team bike (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish rolls onto the stage in Liège

Mark Cavendish rolls onto the stage in Liège (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank

Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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AG2R-La Mondiale

AG2R-La Mondiale (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Vacansoleil-DCM

Vacansoleil-DCM (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Euskaltel-Euskadi

Euskaltel-Euskadi (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Saur Sojasun

Saur Sojasun (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Cadel Evans (BMC)

Cadel Evans (BMC) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alejandro valverde (Movistar)

Alejandro valverde (Movistar) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Oscar Freire (Katusha)

Oscar Freire (Katusha) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Yauheni Hutarovich

Yauheni Hutarovich (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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David Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp)

David Zabriskie (Garmin-Sharp) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol)

Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol)

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano)

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Rein Taaramae (Cofidis)

Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge)

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Orica-GreenEdge with a new look

Orica-GreenEdge with a new look (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Cofidis

Cofidis (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Argos-Shimano

Argos-Shimano (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) appeared in style

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) appeared in style (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The set in Liège was a gigantic wheel

The set in Liège was a gigantic wheel (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alejandro Valverde keeps his shades on

Alejandro Valverde keeps his shades on (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Alessandro Petacchi checks his email

Alessandro Petacchi checks his email (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Daniel Mangeas relaxes before the big show

Daniel Mangeas relaxes before the big show (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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BMC

BMC (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Radioshack-Nissan

Radioshack-Nissan (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Team Europcar was down a man for the team presentation

Team Europcar was down a man for the team presentation (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Movistar team

The Movistar team (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Katusha

Katusha (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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FDJ-BigMat

FDJ-BigMat (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Astana

Astana (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Garmin-Sharp in their new kit, minus David Millar

Garmin-Sharp in their new kit, minus David Millar (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Lampre-ISD

Lampre-ISD (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Lotto-Belisol

Lotto-Belisol (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge)

Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)

Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins

Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Team Sky on stage at the Tour presentation

Team Sky on stage at the Tour presentation (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was welcomed by his home crowds

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was welcomed by his home crowds (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Cadel Evans (BMC)

Cadel Evans (BMC) (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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The defending champion Cadel Evans rolls to the stage in Liege

The defending champion Cadel Evans rolls to the stage in Liege (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Mark Cavendish (Sky)

Mark Cavendish (Sky) (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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The BMC team

The BMC team (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale)

Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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The Rabobank team

The Rabobank team (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Bradley Wiggins has some mic time

Bradley Wiggins has some mic time (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Team Sky

Team Sky (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Andreas Klöden (RadioShack-Nissan)

Andreas Klöden (RadioShack-Nissan) (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Christian Knees (Sky)

Christian Knees (Sky) (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Mark Cavendish looking lean on the stage in Liège

Mark Cavendish looking lean on the stage in Liège (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Team Europcar is presented

Team Europcar is presented (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) received a warm welcome from the fans.

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) received a warm welcome from the fans. (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Team Sky is presented ahead of the 2012 Tour de France

Team Sky is presented ahead of the 2012 Tour de France (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)

Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Slovakian champion Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale)

Slovakian champion Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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The RadioShack-Nissan team

The RadioShack-Nissan team (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Liquigas on stage

Liquigas on stage (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) in Liège

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) in Liège (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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The Liquigas-Cannondale team

The Liquigas-Cannondale team (Image credit: Elmar Krings)
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Ivan Basso looking grim as team leader Vincenzo Nibali is introduced

Ivan Basso looking grim as team leader Vincenzo Nibali is introduced (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Michele Scarponi (Lampre)

Michele Scarponi (Lampre) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The RadioShack-Nissan team is presented in Liège

The RadioShack-Nissan team is presented in Liège (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Vacansoleil team is presented in Liège

The Vacansoleil team is presented in Liège (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The new Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team kits were on display in Liège

The new Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team kits were on display in Liège (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff)

Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Of Qinghai Lake 2012 Stage 4 :: Qinghai Lake - Chaqia

Of Qinghai Lake 2012 Stage 4 :: Qinghai Lake - Chaqia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) is introduced at the Tour de France team presentation

Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) is introduced at the Tour de France team presentation (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Cadel Evans and Philippe Gilbert on the stage in Liège

Cadel Evans and Philippe Gilbert on the stage in Liège (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Large crowds were present in Liège

Large crowds were present in Liège (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale)

Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)

Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

With the start of the Tour de France just two days away, the formalities have begun in Liège, Belgium, the host of Saturday's kickoff prologue time trial. Starting at 6:30pm local time, each of the 22 teams contesting the 99th edition of the Grand Boucle rode their bikes onto the stage in Liège's Place Saint-Lambert square for the team presentations.

A live band on stage provided music for each team's arrival and exit, while veteran Tour announcer Daniel Mangeas introduced each rider on stage and bantered with many of the expected stars for the next three weeks.

One of the real stars of the peloton was the favourite Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky. The British rider – the winner of Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphiné this year – was the man in demand both on the stage and with the media assembled in the courtyard Palais des Prince-Evêques. When asked about his chances in the race, Wiggins said that last year it was all over for him after seven stages and that this year, if he is not in hospital before the first long time trial (stage nine) it “could be good for me”.

The last team to appear on stage was BMC, with the defending champion Cadel Evans. The American-registered squad with an international cast received arguably the loudest applause for two reasons: the presence of the Australian who's back to seek a second Tour title, and the fact that the world’s number-one ranked rider from 2011, Philippe Gilbert, is also in the line-up.

Gilbert was raised near Liège and is a popular crowd favourite. He explained that, when the Tour started here in 2004, he thought that he may have missed the chance to do this race where he grew up, but now that opportunity has been presented again.

Several teams, such as Orica-GreenEdge, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank and Garmin-Sharp, rolled out new kit while Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) chose to arrive on stage via low-rider beach cruiser instead of his team issue Felt.

While 198 riders will contest the Tour, two were absent from the ceremonies: Christophe Kern (Europcar) was excused since his wife was due to give birth only hours before the presentation, while David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) is suffering from an illness but is expected to start on Saturday.

Click here to see the full team presentation gallery.