Every year in the heat of summer, my eyes turn toward France. Specifically, this is the few weeks every year when I become a huge fan of cycling and the Tour de France. I won’t bore you with the same treatise I use to impress my wife and kids about how amazing the Tour is, and instead I’ll just get right to the photographic evidence. Part of the reason I enjoy the Tour so much is that it’s such a visually stunning event. Not only is it a mind-boggling physical and mental challenge, but the whole thing is pretty darn beautiful to watch. So here’s a gallery of amazing Tour photos from this year’s race, which has already been one of the most grueling in the event’s century-long history. Courtesy of the Oregonian newspaper link below, the gallery shows the requisite shots of the peloton peddling past a field of sunflowers, as well as more unique shots of the environment, the spectators and the overall grit and drama of the Tour. Make sure you enlarge the gallery to full screen so you can really get into the details provided by the talented photographers of the Associated Press. You’ve still got a week of Tour watching left, so if you’re interested in watching beautiful landscape photography come to life as the world’s greatest cyclists pedal through it, here’s your chance.