Tour de France 2024 gallery: A day in the dust

Photojournalist James Startt captured one of the Tour's most exciting stages

The much-anticipated stage nine of this year’s Tour de France, the stage of the chemins blancs, very much lived up to its expectations. If you were looking for a new stage for these actors, who just happen to be bike racers, it would be hard to do better. Christian Prudhomme and his Tour de France technical team hoped to introduce a fresh alternative to the race with a stage that combined elements of Paris-Roubaix and Strade Bianche. And they clearly found it with this demanding loop around Troyes. 
Starting with the opening section of white roads, the yellow jersey remained near the front.

The Red Bull-Bora-Hansgrohe team did their best to keep the leader Primož Roglič at the front of the race, but it was not an easy day for the team. 

The fans, like the riders, quickly faded into the blankets of dust found on each of the 14 gravel sections on today's stage.

Section 11, the Côte de Val Frion, offered pitches of nearly 15% that laced its way through wine vineyards.

Tom Pidcock was one of the key actors of the day, jumping into the breakaway and fighting for victory when the race returned to Troyes.

 Polka dots lined the climbs found along the day.

Mathieu van der Poel's rainbow jersey sits clearly in the middle of the pack as they make their way up the final meters of the Côte de Val Frion, 90 kilometres from the finish.
Jasper Stuyven's late-race attack nearly won him the stage...nearly.
Mathieu van der Poel (L) and Michael Matthews (R) were key players in a formidable counter attack, but they came up short on this day.
Remco Evenepoel, Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard, the top three in the overall standings, power through the dust on the final chemin blanc of the day, just a few kilometres from the finish in Troyes.
Vingegaard rarely left the shadows of the yellow jersey throughout the day.
Fans were on hand to cheer the last riders of the day, a grueling but memorable day in the Tour de France. 

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