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On the startline in Pamiers

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Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) heads out for another stage of his last ever Tour de France

Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) heads out for another stage of his last ever Tour de France
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) looks fresh before the start

Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) looks fresh before the start
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Lance Armstrong maybe out of overall contention but the RadioShack bus still attracts a huge crow

Lance Armstrong maybe out of overall contention but the RadioShack bus still attracts a huge crow
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The start village is a place to do business. Here is Andrei Tchmil

The start village is a place to do business. Here is Andrei Tchmil
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Linus Gerdemann (Milram) kept cool with some water

Linus Gerdemann (Milram) kept cool with some water
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) after signing on

Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) after signing on
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) poses with some fans for a photograph

Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) poses with some fans for a photograph
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Mavic provide the neutral service support at the Tour de France

Mavic provide the neutral service support at the Tour de France
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Today the stage starts in Pamiers

Today the stage starts in Pamiers
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Not all the bikes at the Tour are made from carbon fibre

Not all the bikes at the Tour are made from carbon fibre
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea bikes

The Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea bikes
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Andy Schleck's yellow bike awaits him.

Andy Schleck's yellow bike awaits him.
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) talks to Norwegian television

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) talks to Norwegian television
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The Colnago bikes wait in the sun for the BBox Bouygues Telecom riders

The Colnago bikes wait in the sun for the BBox Bouygues Telecom riders
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Swiss national champion Martin Elmiger (Ag2r-La Mondiale)

Swiss national champion Martin Elmiger (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Roman Kreuziger and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) are ready for another hot day in the saddle

Roman Kreuziger and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) are ready for another hot day in the saddle
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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British national champion Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

British national champion Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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The Footon-Servetto riders stay cool in the shade as they await the start

The Footon-Servetto riders stay cool in the shade as they await the start
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) talks to Juliet Macur of the New York Times

David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) talks to Juliet Macur of the New York Times
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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 Oscar Freire (Rabobank) talk to Europsort

Oscar Freire (Rabobank) talk to Europsort
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) smiles before the start

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) smiles before the start
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) was in a pensive mood before the start of the stage

David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) was in a pensive mood before the start of the stage
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Team Sky's Pinarello bikes. 31 is Bradley Wiggins' bike

Team Sky's Pinarello bikes. 31 is Bradley Wiggins' bike
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) has special green Rotor cranks on his spare bike

Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) has special green Rotor cranks on his spare bike
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

It's day two in the Pyrenees and the Tour enters its final week. There was palpable air of tension at the start village in Pamiers ahead of what could well be a decisive day for a number of riders' Tour ambitions.

Andy Schleck's yellow Specialized was waiting for him outside his team bus before the start and the Luxembourger will no doubt hope that it will still be there waiting for him tomorrow morning. Liquigas-Doimo pair Ivan Basso and Roman Kreuziger took to the line knowing that today would be a key day if they want to improve on their overall standings, while others such as Lance Armstrong and David Millar bore the haunted look of men counting the days to Paris.

Enjoy this gallery from the start in Pamiers.