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On the start line in Rodez

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Cyclingnews has a new car for this year's Tour de France

Cyclingnews has a new car for this year's Tour de France
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The start of the thirteenth stage was held in Rodez

The start of the thirteenth stage was held in Rodez
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Matt Lloyd

Matt Lloyd
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Erik Breukink

Erik Breukink
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Astana received a nice drawing of Alberto Contador this morning

Astana received a nice drawing of Alberto Contador this morning
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Omega Pharma-Lotto riders Lang, Moreno and Lloyd have a chat

Omega Pharma-Lotto riders Lang, Moreno and Lloyd have a chat
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Martijn Maaskant and David Millar

Martijn Maaskant and David Millar
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Mark Cavendish gets on his bike with a big smile

Mark Cavendish gets on his bike with a big smile
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Denis Menchov lines up

Denis Menchov lines up
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Carlos Sastre at the start in Rodez

Carlos Sastre at the start in Rodez
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Matt Lloyd interviews Robbie McEwen

Matt Lloyd interviews Robbie McEwen
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Bernard Eisel lined up late

Bernard Eisel lined up late
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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Lance Armstrong was a late showing at the start in Rodez

Lance Armstrong was a late showing at the start in Rodez
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)
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They're off!

They're off!
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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the yellow, green and polka-dot jersey wearers line-up for the start

the yellow, green and polka-dot jersey wearers line-up for the start
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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This is the ligne de depart

This is the ligne de depart
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Mr Haribo is forever blowing bubbles

Mr Haribo is forever blowing bubbles
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Euskaltel-Euskadi and their supporters are ready for the Pyrenees

Euskaltel-Euskadi and their supporters are ready for the Pyrenees
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea bikes await their riders

The Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea bikes await their riders
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The curves and the carbon of the Lampre Wilier-Triestina bikes

The curves and the carbon of the Lampre Wilier-Triestina bikes
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) checks his SRM power meter

Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) checks his SRM power meter
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Alberto Contador was all smiles after explaining there is no problem between him and Alexandre Vinokourov

Alberto Contador was all smiles after explaining there is no problem between him and Alexandre Vinokourov
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Vino cracked a rare smile too

Vino cracked a rare smile too
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Will Bernhard Eisel be Mark Cavendish's new leadout man?

Will Bernhard Eisel be Mark Cavendish's new leadout man?
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Mark Cavendish attracts fans of all ages

Mark Cavendish attracts fans of all ages
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Alberto Contador (Astana) checks his radio on the start line

Alberto Contador (Astana) checks his radio on the start line
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The peloton gathers at the start in Rodez under cloudy skies

The peloton gathers at the start in Rodez under cloudy skies
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Samedi 17 Juillet, so the Tour must be in Rodez

Samedi 17 Juillet, so the Tour must be in Rodez
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The peloton rolls out of Rodez

The peloton rolls out of Rodez
(Image credit: Brecht Decaluwé)

The bunch gathered for Rodez for the start this morning in overcast but warm conditions. On a day for the opportunists, the overall contenders and sprinters alike looked quite relaxed ahead of proceedings. Andy Schleck, resplendent in yellow, was all smiles for the cameras, while Alberto Contador seemed quietly content with his work yesterday on the Montee Laurent Jalabert.

Mark Cavendish may still be smarting over the ejection of his teammate Mark Renshaw, but the HTC-Columbia man nonetheless has a spring in his step these days after refinding his winning touch. The same cannot be said of Lance Armstrong (RadioShack). He arrived late to the startline today, his troubles seemingly mounting on and off the bike. The hapless Texan then proceeded to have yet another crash in the neutral zone, although he would emerge relatively unscathed.

View our start line photo gallery here.