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Cycling | Tour de France

Chris Froome © Getty Images

Froome embarks on Tour de France title defence

Chris Froome and 175 other riders set off on the first stage of the 2018 Tour de France on Saturday from the island of Noirmoutier off the Atlantic Coast.

Cycling fans packed the roadsides of the 201km ride to Fontenay-le-Comte, the stage looking certain to end with a sprint finish.

There was a festive family atmosphere on the mainly coastal route, which was well marshalled by a massive police presence that organisers hope will deter fans targeting Froome, who was only cleared to race last week after long-running suspicions of doping were put to bed.


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