Tour De France: Week 1 – Le Col | Le Col BG
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It has been an opening to the Tour de France that is hard to comprehend, there have been so many incidents, so many interwoven strands of narrative. The first five days will certainly cast a shadow that reaches all the way to Paris. Crashes and chaos have been the defining elements so far, but here and there occasional glimmers of joy have shone through.

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It’s a cruel sport in many ways, cycling, but never more visibly so than in the opening week of the Tour de France. Regardless of the year, or the width of the roads they ride, or the presence (or not) of fans on the roadside, there is always at least one rider who finds his race cut short before it has really begun. What stands out this year is how many riders have been sent home by fate and happenstance; how many thousands of training miles have gone effectively to waste.

Of those who fall or experience setbacks, some of the toughest will get up and brush themselves down, carry on to see what they can take from the race. A change of priorities, or a doubling of efforts can avert total calamity. Perhaps the finest example of that phenomenon is the rider who fell for longer than most, only to regain the top step of the podium after five hard years away.

Thanks to our photographer Chris Auld for capturing the race. See more of his work on Instagram @cauldphoto.