Polish cyclist reveals effects of grueling Tour de France

If you were in any doubt as to just how grueling the Tour de France really is, then look no further than Paweł Poljański's legs.

The Polish cyclist, riding for German team Bora--Hansgrohe, posted a photo on social media after stage 16 to give fans an idea of the effect cycling's most prestigious race has on an athletes' bodies.

Burned by the scorching sun and with veins bulging, Poljański's photo lays bare the daily rigors endured by these fiercest of competitors.

"After sixteen stages my legs look a bit tired," the 27-year-old wrote on his Instagram account.

This year's edition of the Tour de France sees 198 riders tackle a brutal 23-day, 21-stage, 3,540-kilometer route that takes in 23 mountain climbs and affords competitors just two rest days.

For the first time since 1992, all five of France's mountain ranges -- the Vosges, the Jura, the Pyrénées, the Massif central and the Alps -- will feature, while three of the five mountain stages include altitude finishes.

The 104th Tour de France also sees the riders take in the sights of neighboring Germany, Belgium and Luxemburg and 34 French counties.

Going into Wednesday's 17th stage, Poljański sits in 75th place in the overall classification, while his team is currently 18th out of 22.

The Tour de France concludes on Sunday.