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July 16, 2012

Tour de France 2012: Part two

The 2012 Tour de France enters the final week with some tough climbs in the Pyrenees and a decisive individual time-trial remaining before the peloton races laps on the Champs-Elysees in Paris on Sunday. Barring surprises, leader Bradley Wiggins looks set to become the first British winner of the Tour in the 99 editions of the race to date. His main rival, Christopher Froome, isn't even trying to beat him, as they're on the same team. Defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia has aggressively tried to hold his title, but Wiggins' mastery in the time trial and team strength in the mountains has left him minutes behind. An appalling and dangerous act of sabotage struck the peloton atop the Mur de Peguere as persons unknown threw upholstery tacks on the tarmac, causing Evans and around 30 other riders to flat there or on the steep descent. The Tour de France finishes in Paris after 2,173 miles on July 22. -- Lane Turner (31 photos total)

Bradley Wiggins of Britain, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, speeds down Croix de Fer pass during the 11th stage of the Tour de France on July 12, 2012. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press)

Christopher Froome of Britain strains in the last meters of the 9th stage, an individual time trial over 41.5 kilometers, on July 9, 2012. (Laurent Rebours/Associated Press) #

Fans cheer on stage winner and yellow jersey holder Bradley Wiggins during the individual time-trial on July 9, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages) #

The peloton makes the climb of the Col du Grand Colombier during stage ten from Macon to Bellegarde-Sur-Valserine on July 11, 2012 in La Sapette, France. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) #

Decorations are displayed on the facade of a building prior to the start of the tenth stage on July 11, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages) #

A man performs with puppets representing Arnold Schwarzenegger and George Bush at the departure village prior to the start of the tenth stage on July 11, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages) #

Thomas Voeckler climbs in a breakaway in the tenth stage on July 11, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages) #

An entertainer balances his bicycle atop a lamp post with the Alps in the background prior to the 11th stage in Albertville on July 12, 2012. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press) #

Australian fans wave national flags as the peloton rides in the eleventh stage between Albertville and La Toussuire-Les Sybelles on July 12, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages) #

Fans dressed as skiers cheer on Bradley Wiggins and teammate Christopher Froome on the eleventh stage on July 12, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages) #

A fan with a flag of Belgium runs alongside Jurgen Van Den Broeck of Belgium (second from right) as a group climbs towards La Toussuire during the 11th stage on July 12, 2012. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press) #

Team Sky of Britain speeds down Granier pass behind Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway during the 12th stage between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Annonay on July 13, 2012. (Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press) #

The breakaway pedals through a tunnel in the twelfth stage between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Annonay Davezieux on July 13, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages) #

A fan waits for riders during the twelfth stage on July 13, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages) #

A fan, with his 1912 bicycle, cheers on the peloton riding in the twelfth stage on July 13, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages) #

Stage winner David Millar rides in a breakaway in the twelfth stage on July 13, 2012. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/GettyImages) #

The peloton rides past vineyards during the 12th stage between Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne and Annonay-Davezieux on July 13, 2012. (Bogdan Cristel/Reuters) #

Fans cheer on the breakaway riders in the twelfth stage on July 13, 2012. (Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages) #

The breakaway is reflected in a roadside mirror during the twelfth stage on July 13, 2012. (Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/GettyImages) #

David Millar of Britain collapses after crossing the finish line to win the 140-mile 12th stage in Annonay on July 13, 2012. (Peter Dejong/Associated Press) #

Anthony Roux of France receives medical assistance from his team as he rides during the 13th stage between Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux and Cap d'Agde on July 14, 2012. (Bogdan Cristel/Reuters) #

The peloton rides past sunflowers during the 13th stage on July 14, 2012. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters) #

The peloton passes through Uzes during the 13th stage on July 14, 2012. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press) #

Team Europcar riders pass a woman waving the French flag on Bastille Day during the 13th stage on July 14, 2012. (Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press) #

The peloton rides past a woman on a horse during the 13th stage on July 14, 2012. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters) #

The peloton pedals through vineyards during the 13th stage on July 14, 2012. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters) #

Cheerleaders of the USAP rugby team from Perpignan encourage the riders during the 14th stage between Limoux and Foix on July 15, 2012. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press) #

The peloton with Christian Vandevelde of the US (center) passes through Tarascon-sur-Ariege during the 14th stage on July 15, 2012. (Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press) #

(Left to right) Peter Sagan, Gorka Izaguirre, Philippe Gilbert, and Sandy Casar sprint at the finish line of the 14th stage in Foix on July 15, 2012. (Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters) #

Vincenzo Nibali of Italy (center left) leads Bradley Wiggins of Britain (wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey) as they climb Mur de Peguere during the 14th stage on July 15, 2012. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press) #

A fan gives Joan Horrach of Spain a push as he climbs Mur de Peguere during the 14th stage on July 15, 2012. (Christophe Ena/Associated Press) #


 
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