Gallery: New and custom bikes of the Tour

All the sausages and Fanta you can stomach with a closer look at a host of Tour bikes, including some with prices "starting from 10 grand."

This Tour has been full on, hardly providing a moment’s respite to catch our breaths. The almost alternating GC-stage-to-sprint-stage route philosophy has us so far enjoying a perfectly paced crescendo as “The Duo,” the sprinters, and the stage hunters do battle time and time again. Anti-climaxes only come from too much focus on a few key stages or a race that peaks too soon, GC decided by the end of the first week. On the other hand, we can’t expect flag to finish excitement all day, every day. Just as the riders can’t sustain such efforts, our excitement levels can’t build indefinitely. This Tour route has struck the perfect balance so far and that poise looks set to continue. If it was a wedding (an Irish wedding, to be clear) the band are just wrapping up, the sausages and sandwiches are on their way out, the DJ is setting up for a banging gig, and the kids have enough Fanta in them to keep them going well into the wee hours.

ASO has, so far, hit the route nail square on the head, and the riders have hit the performance nail equally cleanly. It’s proving an equally fascinating Tour on the tech side. The first week delivered everything from new bikes to new saddles, helmets, and shoes. The middle week saw the return of the dropper post, and, although not at the Tour, some leaked images of the new Specialized Tarmac SL8. The fascinating stage 16 time trial is sure to keep the tech excitement alive. We just need some sausages and Fanta to get us there. Dig in …

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