Photo gallery: the 2017 Tour de France in 45 stunning images - Road Cycling UK

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Photo gallery: the 2017 Tour de France in 45 stunning images

The Tour de France once again produces a jaw-dropping spectacle

The dust has settled on the 2017 Tour de France and all that’s left is for us to reflect on another edition of La Grande Boucle. While this year’s Tour may have produced the result many expected, with Chris Froome securing a fourth overall victory, cycling’s biggest race once again put on a jaw-dropping spectacle for the television cameras and photographers capturing the action.

From the jam-packed streets of Dusseldorf for the Grand Depart to the barren scree slopes of the Col d’Izoard, via the rivers and valleys of the Dordogne, and mist-shrouded peaks of the Pyrenees, the Tour provides a stunning backdrop for the peloton.

The 2017 Tour de France produced a jaw-dropping spectacle (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)

The Tour is as much a global billboard for France as it is the sport of cycling, with millions of fans watching from the roadside and countless more viewing from afar.

These beautiful images from the team of photographers at SWPix.com tell the story of the 2017 Tour de France in all its beauty.

Thousands of fans packed into Dusseldorf's old town to watch the team presentation (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Follow the yellow brick road... Chris Froome started the Tour de France as favourite and duly delivered on that tag (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
However, it was Froome's team-mate, Geraint Thomas, who stole the show on the opening stage, winning the time trial to take the yellow jersey (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Stage three saw the peloton take a detour on the iconic Circuit de Spa Francorchamps in Belgium (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Peter Sagan outsprinted Michael Matthews and Dan Martin to win stage three but the world champion's participation in the race would come to an end a day later (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com)
French champion Arnaud Demare won his first Tour de France stage in Vittel but the day would be overshadowed by Sagan's disqualification and Mark Cavendish's withdrawal (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com)
Thomas wore the yellow jersey until stage five, when Froome took over the race leadership (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
The breakaway found limited success over the first week of the race (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
The Tour shows France at its most beautiful (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Millions of fans lined the roadside to watch the race - and see the Tour's fabled caravane pass through, of course (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Fans wait hours to see the peloton pass through as a multi-coloured blur (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Five French teams rode the race, including Direct Energie, popular with a young fan on stage eight (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Romain Bardet gets some down time on a flight from Chambery to Dordogne for the first rest day (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
While Froome has his detractors in France, the 32-year-old is also hugely popular with many Tour fans (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Few could get near Marcel Kittel on the Tour's flat stages, with the German securing five stage wins (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Philippe Gilbert and Jack Bauer celebrate another Kittel win (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Heir to the throne? Simon Yates followed in the pedal strokes of twin brother Adam by winning the best young rider classification (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com)
Stage 12 saw the race head into the Pyrenees with a summit finish at Peyragudes (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Breakaway artists Steve Cummings and Thomas de Gendt ride through the mist on the Port de Balés (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
The super-steep finish to stage 12 saw Froome lose time to his rivals and briefly concede the yellow jersey (Pic: Alex Whitehead/SWPix.com/ASO)
Stage 13 may have only been 101km but the action came hard and fast in the Pyrenees. Here the peloton climbs the stunning Col d'Agnes (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
With Fabio Aru in the yellow jersey, Froome tried to put the Italian under pressure (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Fans cheers the British national champion on the Col d'Agnes (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
These young fans were rooting for Trek-Segafredo on stage 14 from Blagnac to Rodez (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Team Sky's Froome, Michal Kwiatkowski and Luke Rowe chew the fat before the start of stage 14 (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Having finished second overall in the 2016 Tour, Frenchman Romain Bardet carried the hopes of a nation (Pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWPix.com/ASO)
The spectacular scenery continued on stage 15 as the peloton made its way to the Alps (Pic: Alex Whitehead/SWPix.com/ASO)
A frantic stage saw the breakaway stay away and Bauke Mollema capture a fine solo victory in Le Puy en Velay (Pic: Alex Whitehead/SWPix.com/ASO)
Staff and pupils from Chris Froome's old school in Kenya traveled to see the race leader on stage 16 (Pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWPix.com/ASO)
The fearsome Col du Galibier dominated the day's agenda on stage 17 (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Fans scrambled to find a vantage point of the action (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com)
But there was little to separate the main GC contenders over the top of the 2,645m climb and down the subsequent descent (Pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWPix.com/ASO)
The Embrun lake provided a spectacular backdrop to the final day in the Alps (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
The Tour's first ever summit finish on the Col d'Izoard saw Warren Barguil and Colombian Darwin Atapuma go head-to-head on the climb (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
And it was Barguil who triumphed, claiming his second stage win of the 2017 Tour (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Romain Bardet attacked on the Izoard to try and gain time on Chris Froome but failed to shake off the yellow jersey (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Froome has developed a reputation as one of the peloton's most daring descenders (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Edvald Boasson Hagen emerged as a popular winner on stage 19, having twice finished second and twice third on previous stages (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
Bardet went into the penultimate stage time trial with a 23 second deficit to Froome but lost nearly two minutes in Marseille, slipping to third overall and hanging onto a podium spot by just one second (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
By finishing third in the Marseille time trial, Froome all but sealed a fourth overall victory (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
The start of stage 20 provided an opportunity for a celebratory drink for Froome and his team-mates. Luke Rowe took the opportunity to nab a couple of beers (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com/ASO)
The Eiffel Tower came as a welcome sight for the peloton, entering Paris after nearly 3,500km of racing (Pic: Alex Broadway/ASO/SWPix.com)
The final stage saw the peloton pass through the Grand Palais, built in 1897 (Pic: Simon Wikinson/SWPix.com/ASO)
Froome rode onto the iconic Champs-Elysees as Tour de France champion for a fourth time (Pic: Alex Broadway/SWPix.com)
Froome was reunited with wife Michelle and son Kellan in Paris. "I want to dedicate this victory to my family," said Froome. "Michelle, Kellan, your love and support makes everything possible. You’ve been there for me through the ups and the downs and my life with you is what makes all the sacrifices worth it. Thank you."
Warren Barguil's attacking ride saw him win the King of the Mountains jersey, while Simon Yates took the white jersey of best young ride and Michael Matthews triumphed in the points classification (Pic: Simon Wilkinson/SWPix.com/ASO)
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