The final stage of the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné delivered a dramatic conclusion to the most significant of the final, pre-Tour de France tune-ups.

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador and defending champion, Chris Froome (Team Sky), rolled out of Megève separated by just 12 seconds, with 131.5km, four categorised climbs and a summit finish at Courchevel to negotiate.

RoadCyclingUK.com travelled to Megève to ride some of the brutal parcours and to get up close to the riders and their machinery.

We left with the gallery below and the impression that professional cycling is arguably the most accessible of all elite sports: one where fan and athlete – not to mention millions of Euros of bikes, buses, and team cars – share the same space happily.

Check back soon for a second gallery from the arrivée in Courchevel.

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RoadCyclingUK travelled with Savoie Mont Blanc Tourism - a partner of the Critérium du Dauphiné