Tour de France 2011 - Part 1

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.

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