If there's anything holding the Tour de France back from gaining a large American TV following, it might be the issue of broadcasts feel so removed from the action.

OK, fine, the all-but-exodus of American stars from cycling's biggest stage hasn't helped much, either. But from a purely entertainment perspective, TV audiences are several degrees removed from the action and subtle excitement that goes on during a cycling race.

For the first time, GoPro cameras have managed to capture that excitement. Velon CC has packaged the best moments from the Tour into an exciting, eye-opening highlight reel.

There's plenty to admire here, but the crashes may be the most captivating. Given the way cyclists bunch together in the peloton during a race, it figures that pile-ups can happen quickly, and without warning.

But it's stunning to see how quickly they can develop -- if you blink, you can miss the initial slip that leads to a massive wreck on the slick European streets.

Also impressive: Those downhill descents. It's crazy to think that those speeds and sharp turns are being taken on by a skinny guy wearing skin-tight clothing while riding what most people see as a children's recreational toy.

Never mind the sharp degrees those bodies must reach when banking around a turn -- it looks like the riders could stick out their hand and touch the ground.

But cycling has always been a dangerous venture when it comes to riding downhill, and this video makes that more clear than ever.

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