Today Briton Mark Cavendish will be challenging a Frenchman for the green jersey, worn by the overall sprint leader – who, more often than not, tends to be a prima donna.
In the post-Lance Armstrong era, Team Garmin-Cervélo is proving it's possible to win clean. Since the squad pioneered a rigorous internal drug-testing system in 2007, not a single rider has tested positive.
Garmin-Cervelo rider Thor Hushovd (l.) of Norway leads his teammates during the team time trial in the second stage of the Tour de France 2011 cycling race in Les Essarts on July 3.
Alberto Contador, coming off two consecutive wins, is the clear favorite. But he's stuck in a legal battle over allegations of doping that could nullify any titles he wins this year.
The Sojourner rover is shown on the surface of Mars just after leaving the Mars Pathfinder Saturday, July 5, 1997 in this image from NASA
The Tour de France, which ends Sunday, offers $2.6 million in prizes. Beyond battling for the yellow jersey, racers can collect points (think: Super Mario) for smaller awards.
Alberto Contador today shaved 10 seconds off the lead of Andy Schleck in the Tour de France Stage 12. Lance Armstrong's Team RadioShack took the overall team lead.
Tour de France Stage 11 finished in a wild sprint, with Mark Cavendish claiming his third stage win. But his HTC-Columbia teammate was disqualified for head-butting another rider.
Mark Cavendish burst into the lead in the final few hundred meters for an exciting end to Stage 6 of the Tour de France. American Tyler Farrar finished second. Tomorrow brings the first mountain stage.