Unmistakable backdrops, unrelenting racing, and incredibly hot weather: the start to this year’s Tour de France has been beautiful, breathless, and brutal.

Take a look behind the scenes with our exclusive photo gallery from week one of the sport’s biggest race.

Stage 8: Semur-en-Auxois – Colombey-les-Deux-Eglises

Stage 7: Nuits-Saint-Georges – Gevrey-Chambertin

Stage 6: Mâcon – Dijon

Stage 5: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne – Saint Vulbas

Stage 4: Pinerolo – Valloire

Stage 3: Piacenza – Torino

Stage 2: Cesenatico – Bologna

Stage 1: Florence – Rimini