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With baited breath we wait. Not long now… a little over 11 months since the final stage of the 103rd Tour de France, the 104th is about to commence. During the course of the race this year, we’ll deliver an eclectic mix of coverage including a few simple, impromptu galleries showing life in and around the Tour.

Here is part one: a panorama of stage one… as it unfolds, we’ll add more images to show off Düsseldorf and it’s Grande Départ.

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The preview tends to drag on just a few days too many. Once the scene is set and the streets are closed and the site of the Big Start puts on the finishing touches as it prepares to expose itself to the world, it feels real. That’s how it is in Düsseldorf on this first day of July 2017.

A long time in the making, it’s finally happening.

There’s a German TT national champion already consider what could happen this evening. Another yellow jersey is waiting and, surely, Tony Martin is the favourite for that prize. But this is the Tour, nothing is certain.

The last time there was a time trial of this length to begin proceedings, it was an Australian who eclipsed them all: Rohan Dennis in Utrecht, at a record average speed… into the maillot jaune on day one. His tenure as Tour leader lasted a day…

He’s not here this year. But his team-mate and compatriot, Richie Porte is. The Tasmanian has won a TT already this year. He has also won a few stage races. And he is one of the favourites for the title – if you’re an optimist – in Düsseldorf… and Paris. Believe it. Why not?


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Below is a gallery of images collected as the day progresses. The Grande Départ is upon us. Let’s what to see what the riders deliver… on y va – let’s enjoy the ride!

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