The Tour de France is a feast for the senses and even the non-cycling fan can appreciate the beauty of the landscapes and be drawn to the atmosphere. In this gallery, the most significant moments of the 2015 Tour de France from talented photographers BrakeThrough Media (Jim & Iri), Kristof Ramon, and Cor Vos are showcased.
STAGE 2 – CROSSWINDS
The long stretches along the North Sea coast are notorious for crosswinds and when a crash near the front split the field as the wind was gusting, only a few well positioned contenders made the elite split of just 24 riders. Andre Griepel drew first blood in the battle of the sprinters coming off Mark Cavendish’s wheel and earned his first green jersey of the Tour de France.STAGE 3 – DISASTER STRIKES
What got people talking on stage 3 was the spectacular crash that saw big-named riders abandon as over 20 hit went down at high speeds with a tailwind at their backs. Among them was the yellow jersey wearer Fabian Cancellara who, although able to continue, was visibly hurt and lost several minutes by the end. Australia‘s Simon Gerrans, Frenchman William Bonnet, who caused the crash, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, and Dmitry Kozontchuk of Russia were the four forced out of the race after the crash 100km into the stage. It caused the stage to be neurtralised and stopped for 10 minutes as several riders received treatment.STAGE 4 – COBBLES
Stage 4 of the Tour had been earmarked as one of concern to the GC riders due to the inclusion of 13.3km of cobblestone roads spread over seven sectors in the longest stage of this year’s race. Remarkably, all four of the big favourites – Froome, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) — made it through the day unscathed. But not without a few nervous moments.STAGE 5 – BATTLE OF THE SPRINTERS
Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) took his second win this TdF, sprinting to victory in Amiens on a wet and windy. Greipel, who was wearing the green jersey for a third consecutive stage, crossed the line ahead of Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish to extend his lead in the points classification.
“At 300 metres to go I thought the sprint was finished for me,” Greipel said. “But somehow I could manage to get out; find space to get out. I knew the right side would be blocked so I was focusing to get out on the left side.”
STAGE 6 – MARTIN’S YELLOW NIGHTMARE
Stage 6 was a day of mixed fortunes for the Etixx-QuickStep team. Zdenek Stybar jumped away inside the final two kilometres to win the stage while race leader Tony Martin crashed in the finale and badly injured his shoulder. He was pushed across the line by three team-mates, nursing his left arm and subsequently was unable to continue the race into stage 7.
“It was completely crazy,” said Stybar, talking about the run in towards the line. “We knew there was downhill. We lost a lot of positions in the corners, but on the climb I managed to get to the front. I saw that Cavendish was a little bit in difficulties. I saw Tony [Martin] was there okay so I decided to try. “I went for it and when I saw I had a little gap, when nobody moved directly, I thought ‘okay, maybe I can make it.’”