Dutch Rabo rider Laurens ten Dam is cove

Blood and Guts: The Tour de France's Painful Reality

The crashes are inevitable, and the pictures can be gruesome.

It's the biggest cycling event in the world — a yearly test of speed, stamina, mental toughness, and the ability to push through pain. The Tour de France wreaks physical havoc on riders every year, with scary crashes leaving the best cyclists in the world battered, bloody and, at times, unable to continue. As the 2018 race winds down, FOTO brings you the painful side of the Tour de France. (WARNING: Though all the cyclists pictured here survived, some of their injuries are graphic.) Above: The Netherlands' Laurens ten Dam continues after a bloody crash on stage 14 in 2011.

A bloody Tiesj Benoot of Belgium finishes stage four after a big pile-up during this year's edition of the Tour de France. Chris Graythen/Getty Images A bloody Tiesj Benoot of Belgium finishes stage four after a big pile-up during this year's edition of the Tour de France. Spain's Alberto Contador powers through 2016's opening stage after sustaining a huge gash on his shoulder. KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images Spain's Alberto Contador powers through 2016's opening stage after sustaining a huge gash on his shoulder. Philippe Gilbert is helped out of a ditch after crashing into a stone wall on a descent during stage 16 of this year's Tour de France. The Belgian would continue and complete the stage but an injured leg makes his return doubtful. Tim de Waele/Getty Images Philippe Gilbert is helped out of a ditch after crashing into a stone wall on a descent during stage 16 of this year's Tour de France. The Belgian would continue and complete the stage but an injured leg makes his return doubtful.

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Gilbert's sock is soaked in blood after finishing the stage. JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images Gilbert's sock is soaked in blood after finishing the stage. A rainy track for the 2010 individual time trials in Rotterdam caused Mathias Frank's bike to slip. The Swiss rider, making his Tour de France debut, finished the course but was forced out of the tour with a broken thumb and torn thigh muscle. PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images A rainy track for the 2010 individual time trials in Rotterdam caused Mathias Frank's bike to slip. The Swiss rider, making his Tour de France debut, finished the course but was forced out of the tour with a broken thumb and torn thigh muscle. Kazakhstan's Alexey Lutsenko was tattered and bloody after crashing on stage nine of the 2017 Tour de France, but managed to continue. Tim de Waele/Corbis via Getty Images Kazakhstan's Alexey Lutsenko was tattered and bloody after crashing on stage nine of the 2017 Tour de France, but managed to continue. France's Lloyd Mondory grimaces with pain after a crash in the opening stage of the 2010 tour left him with a sizable scrape. Spencer Platt/Getty Images France's Lloyd Mondory grimaces with pain after a crash in the opening stage of the 2010 tour left him with a sizable scrape. Italy's Marco Pinotti was forced to retire from the 2002 tour after sustaining a badly cut chin near the finish of stage five. POOL/AFP/Getty Images Italy's Marco Pinotti was forced to retire from the 2002 tour after sustaining a badly cut chin near the finish of stage five. A crash halfway into a 2010 time trial in Rotterdam caused Portugal's Manuel Cardoso to withdraw from the tour with a broken jaw and collarbone. PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images A crash halfway into a 2010 time trial in Rotterdam caused Portugal's Manuel Cardoso to withdraw from the tour with a broken jaw and collarbone. Christian Vande Velde crashed twice during stage two in 2010, the second of which left him in a ditch and out of the race with two broken ribs. Spencer Platt/Getty Images Christian Vande Velde crashed twice during stage two in 2010, the second of which left him in a ditch and out of the race with two broken ribs.



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