The Most Stunning Pictures From The Tour De France So Far

Each July the Tour de France brings together 198 of the world’s best cyclists to race for three weeks in sports’ most gruelling contest.This year’s Tour (July 5-27) started with three stages in England before heading over to France.

In addition to the thrilling racing over huge mountains and down high-speed descents, there is plenty of beautiful sports photography.

The Red Arrows flew past Harewwood House at the start of the first stage.

This year 198 riders started the Tour in England's historic county of Yorkshire.

The pack rolled through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales as a TV helicopter relayed live images to millions around the world.

Local cycling fans showed their love for the Tour de France.

The technology gets better and better, but in general today's road bikes are remarkably similar to those of decades ago. Here, Jens Voigt of Germany led the race in a solo breakaway during the first stage.

The peloton cruised through Yorkshire in pursuit of breakaway riders.

So much gorgeous Yorkshire scenery ...

A perfect spot for some Instagrams!

Spectators will go most anywhere for a good view of the riders.

On Buttertubs pass, English fans waited politely and patiently for the Tour de France ...

Unlike in many sports, in cycling spectators get a very up-close look at the athletes. Here, they watched as the pack climbed Cray pass.

Watching the Tour is free but sometimes you have to do some climbing of your own ...

Jens Voigt was a hero on Buttertubs pass. His famous motto is 'Shut up, legs!'

Bicycle races are coming your way: climbing through Haworth on stage 2.

Ace sprinter Mark Cavendish crashed in the last hectic kilometers of stage 1.

Cycling's No. 1 sprinter, Marcel Kittel of Germany, delivered his team a win on stage 1.

The royals on tour: Prince Harry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Cycling fans are some of the craziest -- and healthiest -- in all of sports.

Fans paint their favourite riders' names on the road to show their support.

A Union Jack with a touch of Tour de France yellow.

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali had time to look back before claiming stage 2 in Sheffield.

Residents of West Tanfield, England, showed their love for the world's greatest bike race.

Union Jack: One of the many thousands who turned up to see the Tour in London.

Team Sky with defending Tour champ Froome on stage 3 from Cambridge to London.

The pack flew through London's Parliament Square at the end of stage 3.

Germany's Kittel won his second stage in three days in London at Buckingham Palace.

There's another huge sporting event going on this summer

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