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Tweet goodbyes – Tour de France stars bid Britain au revoir

Riders take to Twitter after three days that will live long in the memory

Stars of the peloton have taken to Twitter to say goodbye to Britain – or should that be “au revoi?r” – following a three day Grand Départ that has seen unprecedented crowds flock to watch the race. Here’s our round-up of some of the best.

First, here's defending champion Chris Froome thanked the fans who came out for the race – and did a montage of #VaVaFroome shots.

Fans’ favourite Jens Voigt of Trek Factory Racing got his record-equalling 17th Tour de France off to a start in style, going on a solo break on Stage 1 from Leeds to Harrogate and spending the next day in the polka dot jersey.

Two-time winner Alberto Contador, looking to win his crown back, was also struck by the support shown by the fans who lined the roads.

Simon Gerrans, who crashed in the finale of Stage 1 in Harrogate when Mark Cavendish leant into him.

Some riders were relieved to have emerged from the three days unscathed, however; Lotto-Belisol’s Jurgen Roelandts, quoted on his team website, said:

I'm glad I got out of this English start in one piece. Because of the massive crowds along the English roads it was dangerous these past days. Also today it was hectic again. You had to watch out and especially stay concentrated to avoid crashing. Spectators that take pictures on the middle of the road, narrow roads and a deafening noise can give dangerous situations. Luckily the team got out undamaged.

While team cars and buses had to cope with chaos caused by the closure yesterday of the Channel Tunnel, there were no such problems for the riders, who made their way to France in two chartered planes.

Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas may have issues with fans taking selfies by the roadside – but as you can see, he’s not averse to snapping the odd one himself.

Not all riders made it through the airport without mishap, however, as this tweet from Marcel Kittel, winner of Stages 1 and 3, shows.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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