Hola! Stage 6 continued through the heat of Andalucia. Something in the back of my mind thinks that this area is known as ‘the frying pan of Spain’. I’m sure someone can confirm this – certainly it must feel like it to the 198 riders who have survived so far. A long stage on the flat, passing arid, golden fields – even a dust plume – only to be rewarded with the nastiest climb right at the end in La Zubia. However, fans were rewarded with a phenomenal finish and a great win for Valverde. Astonishing stuff! Here are my drawings:
Dust and Heat
Long shadows – time to drink
Across the line!
Hola! Stage 5 was a slower stage for the most part, travelling a meandering course inland to Ronda. All looked hot but relaxed and the stage progressed without incident until a sudden change of wind brought about a break from team Tinkoff Saxo. Then it all kicked off with a phenomenal sprint finish and a second win for John Degenkolb. As we say in the UK – ‘Phew, what a scorcher!’ Here are my drawings:
Degenkolb takes the win!
Tinkoff Saxo make big move
Chatting on the way
Hola! Stage 4 saw the course continue inland, starting flat but with two climbs. The weather was ridiculously hot again, calling into question the safety of the event by some riders. In spite of this, the cyclists performed brilliantly with astonishingly fast descents that took my breath away! A burst to the finish saw the win for John Degenkolb. Great racing. Here are my drawings:
Valverde, The master of the fast descent
Hola! Stage 3 began on the coast of Cadiz and wove a course inland that saw the first climbs of this year’s race. Travelling through sizzling countryside in sweltering temperatures, riders ground uphill and flew down at breakneck speed. A hard day all round! Here are my drawings:
You can’t play with the peloton!
Heading for the Hills
Head down for the descent
Hola! Stage 2 was a stage for the sprinters, being mostly flat.The course travelled across the extreme south of the country, passing through industrial zones and salt flats. It was hot and windy. There was a crazed dash for the line with a fantastic win for French FDJ team rider Nacer Bouhanni, one of cycling’s exciting new sprinters. Here are my drawings:
Peloton all together
Nacer Bouhanni head down for the win!
Riding past the palm trees