The 2012 Tour de France, Part 1 of 2

The 99th Tour de France cycling race began on July 1, as 22 teams of nine riders raced first through parts of Belgium, then on to France in stage three. Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara held the overall lead until stage six, when Team Sky rider Bradley Wiggins overtook Cancellara, gaining the leader's yellow jersey, which he still wears as of today. The Tour continues until July 22, heading into the Alps for grueling mountain stages in the second half of the race. The entire tour will cover a distance of 3,497 km (2,173 mi). Gathered here are images from the first half of the 2012 Tour de France. Part 2 will be posted after the finish.

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