Well, the Grand Départ of the 2023 Tour de France in Spain’s Basque Country is coming to an end, but it won’t be forgotten anytime soon. Sure, last year’s start in Denmark set a high bar for Tour starts, but the Basque fans are known around the world for the deep passion for cycling, not to mention their long history with the Tour de France. And they did not disappoint. From the stunning team presentation at the foot of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to the steep climbs frequently found here, this year’s Tour de France started on a stellar stage.
Here's a selection of our favourite images from the weekend.
Mathieu van der Poel leads his team past the iconic Guggenheim Museum in the heart of Bilbao on Thursday evening’s Tour de France presentation.
A local resident enjoys a prime view of the stage one presentation at the foot of Bilbao’s football stadium.
The peloton races past this this specially decorated building in the town of local hero Pello Bilbao.
Adam Yates leads the charge over the much-anticipated Côte de Pike climb under the watchful eye of Tadej Pogačar, Jonas Vingegaard and the surprising French rider Victor Lafay.
The peloton chases through a sea of orange on the Côte de Pike.
He may have been well off the pace, but Peter Sagan still received plenty of cheers on the the Côte de Pike.
Fans waited for hours for their front-row seats at the stage two team presentation.
Adam Yates prepares for his first day in yellow with his brother Simon and, well, his dog.
A Basque family cheers the peloton as they race through the opening kilometres of stage two on their way to San Sebastian.
Adam Yates powers his way up the legendary Jaizkibel climb that towers above San Sebastian. But while the climb always splinters the peloton in the Clasica San Sebastian, the favourites were less aggressive today. After all the Tour is three weeks long.
Although he has won the Clasica San Sebastian, two-time world champion Julian Alaphilippe struggled today on the famed Jaizkibel climb.
One reason that the Basque fans are so appreciated by the pro cyclists is their passion, not only for the winners, but every last rider.
It’s never too early to become a bicycle racing fan in the Basque Country.