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Tour de France 2011 - Part 1

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The 98th Tour de France cycling race kicked off on July 2, as 22 teams of nine riders departed from the the Passage du Gois in western France. Mark Cavendish of Britain just won the 11th stage of 21, which took place today in Lavaur, but French rider Thomas Voeckler still wears the yellow jersey of the overall leader. The first half of the tour this year has been plagued by crashes, most notably Netherlands rider Johnny Hoogerland's tumble into a barbed-wire fence after being bumped off the road by a car. The Tour continues until July 24, heading into the Alps for grueling mountain stages in the second half of the race. The entire tour will cover a distance of 3,430.5 kilometers (2,132 miles). Collected here are images from the first half of the 2011 Tour de France. Part 2 has now been published as well. [38 photos]

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Tour de France cyclists pass the world heritage site Mont Saint Michel, a rocky tidal island which holds a monastery, during the sixth stage of the racee in Lisieux, Normandy, western France, on Thursday July 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
Tour de France cyclists pass the world heritage site Mont Saint Michel, a rocky tidal island which holds a monastery, during the sixth stage of the racee in Lisieux, Normandy, western France, on Thursday July 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)
SKY Procycling coach Shane Sutton appears reflected in Bradley Wiggins' helmet visor as they take a break during a training ride on July 1, 2011 in Les Herbiers, France. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
The pack rides in the 191.5 km first stage of the 2011 Tour de France between Fromentine La Barre-de-Monts and Monts des Alouettes in Les Herbiers, western France, on July 2, 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #
Danish cycling team riders compete in the 23 km team time-trial and second stage of the 2011 Tour de France around Les Essarts, western France, on July 3, 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #
Mark Cavendish of Great Britain and HTC Highroad rides in the peloton during stage four of the 2011 Tour de France from Lorient to Mur-de-Bretagne on July 5, 2011 in Bretagne, France. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
Belgium's Philippe Gilbert rides under the rain in the 172.5 km fourth stage of the 2011 Tour de France on July 5, 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #
A French TV helicopter hovers over the pack with Thor Hushovd of Norway, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, center, during the fourth stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday July 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) #
Tony Martin of Germany and HTC Highroad, after finishing stage four of the 2011 Tour de France on July 5, 2011 in Bretagne, France. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
Wearing the yellow jersey of overall leader, Norway's Thor Hushovd rides to the signature ceremony prior to the start of the fifth stage of the 2011 Tour de France between Carhaix and Cap Frehel, western France, on July 6, 2011. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images) #
Slovenia's Janez Brakjovic receives medical assistance after crashing during the fifth stage of the 2011 Tour de France, on July 6, 2011. Brakjovic later left the race. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images) #
Raindrops hit the tarmac during he sixth stage of the Tour de France from Dinan, Brittany, to Lisieux, Normandy, western France, on Thursday July 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) #
German fan Didi Senft (El Diablo) jumps as overall leader, Norway's Thor Hushovd (center) rides in the pack during the seventh stage of the 2011 Tour de France, run between Le Mans and Chateauroux, center France, on July 8, 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #
The pack rides in the seventh stage of the 2011 Tour de France, on July 8, 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #
A man on horseback watches the peloton pass during the seventh stage of the Tour de France 2011, on July 8, 2011. (Reuters/Stefano Rellandini) #
The pack of riders cycles past a field of sunflowers during the seventh stage of the Tour de France, on July 8, 2011. (Reuters/Stefano Rellandini) #
Mark Cavendish of Great Britain and team HTC Highroad celebrates his seventeenth stage victory during stage seven of the Tour de France, on July 8, 2011 in Chateauroux, France. (Michael Steele/Getty Images) #
The pack climbs during the eighth stage of the Tour de France, traveling from Aigurande to Super-Besse Sancy, on July 9, 2011. (Reuters/Stefano Rellandini) #
Frank Schleck of Luxembourg, in second position speeds down La Croix Saint Robert Pass with the pack during the eighth stage of the Tour de France, on Saturday July 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) #
Belgium's Philippe Gilbert (right) climbs with Luxembourg's Andy Schleck in the eighth stage of the 2011 Tour de France, on July 9, 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #
Muscular legs of a rider standing, prior to the start of the 208 km ninth stage of the 2011 Tour de France, run between Issoire and Saint-Flour, central France, on July 10, 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #
The pack climbs during the ninth stage of the Tour de France 2011 on the way to Saint-Flour, on July 10, 2011. (Reuters/Stefano Rellandini) #
Omega Pharma Lotto rider Frederik Willems (top) of Belgium and Garmin Cervello rider David Zabriskie of the U.S. lie injured after a crash during the ninth stage of the Tour de France, on July 10, 2011. (Reuters/Stefano Rellandini) #
Thor Hushovd of Norway, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, sits up straight as he unwraps some food during the ninth stage of the Tour de France, in central France, on July 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) #
Spain's three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador rides in the 208 km ninth stage of the 2011 Tour de France, on July 10, 2011. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images) #
One of the breakaway men, Netherland's Johnny Hoogerland (right) lies tangled in a barbed-wire fence after he crashed, with Spain's Juan Antonio Flecha (left) during the ninth stage of the 2011 Tour de France, on July 10, 2011. Hoogerland and Flecha survived being hit at speed by a car which bore the marking of France Television. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images) #
Vacansoleil-DCM rider Johnny Hoogerland of the Netherlands, injured after crashing into a barbed-wire fence during the ninth stage of the Tour de France 2011, on July 10, 2011. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Injuries from a tangle with a barbed-wire fence bleed on the legs of Johnny Hoogerland of The Netherlands as he rides towards Saint-Flour during the ninth stage of the Tour de France, on July 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) #
The pack climbs towards Cere pass during the ninth stage of the Tour de France, on July 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani) #
Leading men, Netherland's Lieuwe Westra (R) and Russia's Pavel Brutt ride in a breakaway during the 208 km ninth stage of the 2011 Tour de France, on July 10, 2011. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #
The pack passes through fields during the ninth stage of the Tour de France, on July 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) #
Stage winner, Spain's Luis-Leon Sanchez celebrates on the finish line as he wins ahead of France's Thomas Voeckler (right) at the end of the ninth stage of the Tour de France, on July 10, 2011. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images) #
New bearer of the polka dot jersey for best climber, Netherland's Johnny Hoogerland, who crashed earlier in the day, cries at the end of the ninth stage of the 2011 Tour de France, on July 10, 2011. (Pascal Pavani/AFP/Getty Images) #
Orthopedic therapist of Vacansoleil DCM checks the cold compression system on Johnny Hoogerland, on the first day off from the Tour de France in a hotel in Aurillac, southern France, on July 11, 2011. Dutchman Johnny Hoogerland was given 33 stitches to close deep gashes in his leg after he was hit by a car on the ninth stage of the Tour de France, his team said Monday. (Koen van Weel/AFP/Getty Images) #
Luxembourg's Andy Schleck concentrates prior to a training session around Anglards de Saint-Flour, central France, during the first rest day of the 2011 Tour de France on July 11, 2011. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images) #
Cadel Evans of Australia, center, rides with his teammates in the pack during the tenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 158 kilometers, starting in Aurillac and finishing in Carmaux, south central France, on July 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) #
Marco Marcato of Italy and Vacansoleil leads the breakaway group during stage ten of the 2011 Tour de France, on July 12, 2011 in Figeac, France. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) #
Stage winner Andre Greipel of Germany, foreground right, and second place Mark Cavendish of Britain, left, sprint towards the finish line during the tenth stage of the Tour de France, on Tuesday July 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours) #
Europcar rider Thomas Voeckler of France celebrates with the yellow jersey on podium after the tenth stage of the Tour de France, on July 12, 2011. German rider Andre Greipel won the stage while Voeckler retained the leader yellow jersey. (Reuters/Pascal Rossignol) #

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