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Tour de France: A final ride before the Grand Depart - Gallery

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Fabian Cancellara will ride his final Tour de France this year.

Fabian Cancellara will ride his final Tour de France this year. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse takes a look at Julian Alaphilippe's footwear.

Iljo Keisse takes a look at Julian Alaphilippe's footwear. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Members of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team ride their bikes during a training session in Saint-Lo a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France

Members of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team ride their bikes during a training session in Saint-Lo a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France
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Time to chat for Maximiliano Richeze and Marcel Kittel during the team's pre-Tour training ride.

Time to chat for Maximiliano Richeze and Marcel Kittel during the team's pre-Tour training ride. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel shows Maximiliano Richeze the way during the team's pre-Tour training ride.

Marcel Kittel shows Maximiliano Richeze the way during the team's pre-Tour training ride. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel and Tony Martin get in some miles before Saturday's start of the Tour de France

Marcel Kittel and Tony Martin get in some miles before Saturday's start of the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel relaxes before the Etixx-QuickStep training ride.

Marcel Kittel relaxes before the Etixx-QuickStep training ride. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Normandy is ready for the Tour de France invasion.

Normandy is ready for the Tour de France invasion. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel will be looking to make a splash in the Tour de France sprints this year

Marcel Kittel will be looking to make a splash in the Tour de France sprints this year (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Iljo Keisse takes a look at Julian Alaphilippe's footwear.

Iljo Keisse takes a look at Julian Alaphilippe's footwear. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel will be looking to make a splash in the Tour de France sprints this year

Marcel Kittel will be looking to make a splash in the Tour de France sprints this year (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Alaphilippe will make his Tour de France debut this year

Julian Alaphilippe will make his Tour de France debut this year (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Trek-Segafredo line stretches out as Fabian Cancellara leads the training ride the day before the Tour de France.

The Trek-Segafredo line stretches out as Fabian Cancellara leads the training ride the day before the Tour de France. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bauke Mollema will shoulder the GC hopes for Trek-Segafredo at the Tour de France

Bauke Mollema will shoulder the GC hopes for Trek-Segafredo at the Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bauke Mollema and Fabian Cancellara take part in a training ride the day before the Tour de France start

Bauke Mollema and Fabian Cancellara take part in a training ride the day before the Tour de France start (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Etixx-QuickStep train ahead of Saturday's Tour de France start

Etixx-QuickStep train ahead of Saturday's Tour de France start (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Julian Alaphilippe jumps out of the saddle during the Etixx-QuickStep training ride.

Julian Alaphilippe jumps out of the saddle during the Etixx-QuickStep training ride. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Members of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team ride their bikes during a training session in Saint-Lo a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France

Members of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team ride their bikes during a training session in Saint-Lo a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France
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Romain Bardet of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team prepares to take part in a training session

Romain Bardet of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team prepares to take part in a training session
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Romain Bardet of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team prepares to take part in a training session in Saint-Lo

Romain Bardet of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team prepares to take part in a training session in Saint-Lo
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France's Romain Bardet of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team prepares to take part in a training session in Saint-Lo on July 1, 2016, a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France

France's Romain Bardet of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team prepares to take part in a training session in Saint-Lo on July 1, 2016, a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France
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Members of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team ride their bikes during a training session in Saint-Lo a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France

Members of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team ride their bikes during a training session in Saint-Lo a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France
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A person prepares water bottles in front of the hotel of Spain's Movistar cycling team in Coutances a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France

A person prepares water bottles in front of the hotel of Spain's Movistar cycling team in Coutances a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France
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A bicycle mechanic cleans the wheel of a bike in front of the hotel of Spain's Movistar cycling team in Coutanceson a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France

A bicycle mechanic cleans the wheel of a bike in front of the hotel of Spain's Movistar cycling team in Coutanceson a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France
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Water bottles of France's FDJ cycling team in Coutances, a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France

Water bottles of France's FDJ cycling team in Coutances, a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France
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An FDJ logo on a bike in front of France's FDJ cycling team's hotel in Coutances, a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France

An FDJ logo on a bike in front of France's FDJ cycling team's hotel in Coutances, a day before the start of the 2016 Tour de France
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The silhouette of France's Romain Bardet of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team is seen as he prepares to take part in a training session in Saint-Lo

The silhouette of France's Romain Bardet of the AG2R La Mondiale cycling team is seen as he prepares to take part in a training session in Saint-Lo
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Dan Martin and Julian Alaphilippe set the pace during the Etixx-QuickStep training ride.

Dan Martin and Julian Alaphilippe set the pace during the Etixx-QuickStep training ride. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Dan Martin gets in some final training miles before the 2016 Tour de France

Dan Martin gets in some final training miles before the 2016 Tour de France (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel jumps ahead during the Etixx-QuickStep training ride.

Marcel Kittel jumps ahead during the Etixx-QuickStep training ride. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabio Sabatini stretches his legs during the Etixx-QuickStep training ride.

Fabio Sabatini stretches his legs during the Etixx-QuickStep training ride. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Fabian Cancellara stretches his legs with Trek-Segafredo the day before the Tour de France.

Fabian Cancellara stretches his legs with Trek-Segafredo the day before the Tour de France. (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

When he presentations are done and all the questions have been exhausted at the pre-race press conferences, the only thing left for riders to do before the 2016 Tour de France begins Saturday is to get in a few final miles and make sure the legs are loose.

AG2R La Mondiale, Trek-Segafredo and Etixx-QuickStep hit the Normandy roads around Saint-Lo on Friday as the mechanics, soigniers and assembled race entourage started in on their own final preparations. Fabian Cancellara will no doubt be savouring all the moments from what will be his final Tour, while newcomer Julian Alaphilippe is likely eager to stretch his legs in his debut Grand Tour. Alaphilippe's countryman, Romain Bardet, is feeling the pressure of an entire nation that pines for Tour greatness from one of its own.

The 103rd Tour de France begins in Mont-Saint-Michel on Saturday with a 188km opening stage to Utah Beach, site of the D-Day Normandy Landings in June 1944. The route follows the Manche coastline and then cuts east across the Cotentin peninsula. Stage 1 should be a day for the sprinters, but then again anything can happen at the Tour de France.

Check out the galley above, and then see the video below for our 10 general classification riders to watch at this year's Tour.