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On the start line at the Tour of Flanders

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Francaise de Jeux's Lapierres lined-up before the start

Francaise de Jeux's Lapierres lined-up before the start
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) has been in sparkling form recently

David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) has been in sparkling form recently
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Quick Step caps tell the story: Fans wait for the arrival of Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder

Quick Step caps tell the story: Fans wait for the arrival of Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Hincapie fans parked out by the BMC bus in the hope of catching a glimpse of their hero

Hincapie fans parked out by the BMC bus in the hope of catching a glimpse of their hero
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The sound of helicopters overhead adds to the atmosphere in Bruges on the day of Flanders

The sound of helicopters overhead adds to the atmosphere in Bruges on the day of Flanders
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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BMC's bikes await their pilots

BMC's bikes await their pilots
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Francaise de Jeux supremo Marc Madiot

Francaise de Jeux supremo Marc Madiot
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne winner Bobbie Traksel double checks his tyre pressure before the race.

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne winner Bobbie Traksel double checks his tyre pressure before the race.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Garmin-Transitions were one of the last teams to arrive on Sunday morning

Garmin-Transitions were one of the last teams to arrive on Sunday morning
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Lars Boom flashes past on his way to the start

Lars Boom flashes past on his way to the start
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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1997 Paris-Roubaix winner Frederic Guedson

1997 Paris-Roubaix winner Frederic Guedson
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Portugese Champion Manuel Cardoso (Footon-Servetto)

Portugese Champion Manuel Cardoso (Footon-Servetto)
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The Euskaltel-Euskadi riders didn't look overly impressed with the damp conditions

The Euskaltel-Euskadi riders didn't look overly impressed with the damp conditions
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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First cobbles of the day - to the sign-on

First cobbles of the day - to the sign-on
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The view that greets the riders as they head to the start of the Tour of Flanders in Bruges

The view that greets the riders as they head to the start of the Tour of Flanders in Bruges
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Yohann Gene checks his computer as he makes his way to the start

Yohann Gene checks his computer as he makes his way to the start
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Sky)

Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Sky)
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Sebastian Lang, another one of Philippe Gilbert's lieutenants

Sebastian Lang, another one of Philippe Gilbert's lieutenants
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Manuel Quinziato is part of what has been a strong Liquigas Classics squad

Manuel Quinziato is part of what has been a strong Liquigas Classics squad
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Philippe Gilbert salutes the crowds as he debuts his custom Classics bike

Philippe Gilbert salutes the crowds as he debuts his custom Classics bike
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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HTC-Columbia's Matt Goss

HTC-Columbia's Matt Goss
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Jurgen Roelandts and Adam Blythe will play a key role in Philippe Gilbert's chances of success at Flanders

Jurgen Roelandts and Adam Blythe will play a key role in Philippe Gilbert's chances of success at Flanders
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Cervelo's Dominique Rollin, rolls to the sign-on

Cervelo's Dominique Rollin, rolls to the sign-on
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Not giving anything away: Shutters were down on the Omega Pharma-Lotto bus this morning

Not giving anything away: Shutters were down on the Omega Pharma-Lotto bus this morning
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Milram manager Gerry van Gerwen was at the start

Milram manager Gerry van Gerwen was at the start
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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A Milram soigneur loads bidons into the riders' bikes. Odds-on many will be dislodged on the teeth-rattling pave.

A Milram soigneur loads bidons into the riders' bikes. Odds-on many will be dislodged on the teeth-rattling pave.
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Thor Hushovd's spare Cervelo S3

Thor Hushovd's spare Cervelo S3
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Sky director sportif Scott Sunderland

Sky director sportif Scott Sunderland
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Juan Antonio Flecha will be hoping he doesn't need his spare bike, but it was front and centre on the Sky team car

Juan Antonio Flecha will be hoping he doesn't need his spare bike, but it was front and centre on the Sky team car
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Baden Cooke's bike sits atop the team Saxo Bank team car

Baden Cooke's bike sits atop the team Saxo Bank team car
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Fabian Cancellara's Specialized gets a last minute tune-up

Fabian Cancellara's Specialized gets a last minute tune-up
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Jim Ochowicz was in town to see whether George Hincapie can get that elusive Classics win

Jim Ochowicz was in town to see whether George Hincapie can get that elusive Classics win
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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As usual, the Quick Step bus drew the most spectators inside and outside the teams' enclosure

As usual, the Quick Step bus drew the most spectators inside and outside the teams' enclosure
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The Astana bus rolls in

The Astana bus rolls in
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Apparently giraffes inhabit Belgium too: A mascot in the Milram team bus

Apparently giraffes inhabit Belgium too: A mascot in the Milram team bus
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The riders make their way from their team buses down a cobbled street to Bruges' great market place, where the race starts

The riders make their way from their team buses down a cobbled street to Bruges' great market place, where the race starts
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Sebastian Turgot was obviously taking the opportunity to do some testing for Paris-Roubaix at Flanders

Sebastian Turgot was obviously taking the opportunity to do some testing for Paris-Roubaix at Flanders
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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It's best not to brake on the cobbles, but Sebastian Turgot will have the option today

It's best not to brake on the cobbles, but Sebastian Turgot will have the option today
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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William Bonnet's Colnago CX1

William Bonnet's Colnago CX1
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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Cyclingnews blogger Liz Hatch wasn't racing in the women's Flanders and was at the start of the men's race in Bruges

Cyclingnews blogger Liz Hatch wasn't racing in the women's Flanders and was at the start of the men's race in Bruges
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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The organised chaos of the team enclosure at the start of Flanders

The organised chaos of the team enclosure at the start of Flanders
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)
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George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team) is popular with Flandrians

George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team) is popular with Flandrians
(Image credit: Richard Tyler)

Grey skies hung over the start of the 2010 Tour of Flanders on Sunday morning, but that didn't stop thousands of eager spectators from flocking to Bruges, Belgium for the departure of the country's premiere spring Classic. Cyclingnews was on hand and captured these images of the scene.

The cool, wet conditions kept the riders tucked away in their team buses until minutes before the official start, although Lance Armstrong's RadioShack squad broke with the convention to register before many of the other teams had even arrived at the team enclosure. Armstrong himself the first to sign-on for the day.

Luckily for the riders, the rain ceased as the bulk of the riders began the 400 metre journey along the Steenstraat to the startline in Bruges' Grote Markt (Great Market). The hardy fans lining every inch of the street - a crescendo of noise following the big names as they made their way through the unique corridor.