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On the start line in Revel

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Revel was the starting point for the series of Pyrenean mountain stages

Revel was the starting point for the series of Pyrenean mountain stages
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Riders signing on in Revel

Riders signing on in Revel
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Robbie McEwen talks with Rolf Aldag and Alan Peiper

Robbie McEwen talks with Rolf Aldag and Alan Peiper
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Sylvain Chavanel

Sylvain Chavanel
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Many people gathered at the Astana team bus, waiting for Alberto Contador

Many people gathered at the Astana team bus, waiting for Alberto Contador
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Omega Pharma-Lotto's Marc Sergeant talks with the press

Omega Pharma-Lotto's Marc Sergeant talks with the press
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Mario Aerts could have another go in the early breakaway

Mario Aerts could have another go in the early breakaway
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Many people gathered at the Radioshack team bus

Many people gathered at the Radioshack team bus
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Jurgen Van De Walle is often mistakenly seen as Jurgen Van den Broeck; he's in the breakaway today

Jurgen Van De Walle is often mistakenly seen as Jurgen Van den Broeck; he's in the breakaway today
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Katusha's team manager Andrei Tchmil walked in the start village

Katusha's team manager Andrei Tchmil walked in the start village
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Lampre had their bikes lined up at the start

Lampre had their bikes lined up at the start
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Maxime Monfort hasn't been much in the picture during the Tour this year

Maxime Monfort hasn't been much in the picture during the Tour this year
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Enthusiast Belgian fans were cheering for Jurgen Van den Broeck at the start in Revel

Enthusiast Belgian fans were cheering for Jurgen Van den Broeck at the start in Revel
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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British fans at the start in Revel

British fans at the start in Revel
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)

The atmosphere at the start of the Tour de France's 14th stage in Revel was a bit less relaxed than on previous days. The riders were staring down the barrel of two gigantic climbs at the end of the stage followed by several very difficult days in the Pyrénées.

Those who haven't shown their faces so far would be under pressure to get into the early breakaway, while the GC men would be praying their legs would cooperate with the steep gradients.

More hot weather and sunny skies combined with a stiff breeze would make it another difficult day even without the climbs. The race has reached its crux!

Enjoy this gallery from the start in Revel.