It was familiar albeit potentially hostile territory for Lance Armstrong as the American returned to the Tour de France for the first time since his lifetime ban for doping.
The 43-year-old disgraced cyclist has joined forces with former England footballer Geoff Thomas to ride two stages of this year’s Tour in a charity called ‘One Day Ahead’.
The real Tour competitors will ride the same route the following day.
With a peloton made up of amateur riders Armstrong and Thomas are aiming to raise one million pounds for the Cure Leukaemia charity.
Armstrong – who survived testicular cancer – was stripped of the seven Tour titles he won from 1999-2005 after admitting to doping.