Cycling art, Tour de France 2012, Chris Froome, keeps Bradley going

Tour de France 2012 -2022: Ten Years

Ten years ago, Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France; the first British cyclist to do so. He was part of a team then called Sky now Ineos Grenadiers. I drew the race for the first time in 2012 and began a blog as each day unfolded. It was an amazing story then and it still is.

Ten years on, British riders have continued to light up the Tour, with no less than five wins alone between Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, also part of that extraordinary team. Along with 34 stage wins for Mark Cavendish who was part of Sky in 2012, the profile of British cycling, especially in the Tour de France, has grown and developed to a remarkable level since 2012.

Other members of that team are still there, while others may move on, the presence of British cyclists throughout the race stems, I believe, from inspiration from this first achievement of Team Sky. Among the extraordinary crop of new talented riders, there is a remarkable contingent of riders from that team, still competing and still near the top of the standings. It’s quite a remarkable testament to the 2012 generation; they are exceptional athletes. If you look at the post carousel, you’ll see the names of riders of different nationalities, who are still competing in this year’s race.

I acknowledge that this team and even Bradley himself divide opinion, but personally, I have taken huge inspiration from them and their steadfast presence these past ten years. They have won seven out of the last ten Tours. I am a fan of their inspirational performances, which in turn, inspired me and set me on my path, which is a joy.

Thanks for the memories!


Au revoir…. for a while!

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Great end to this year’s Tour – more than most of us in this part of the world could have imagined. A few days on, the summer seems to have arrived in Britain and the country is gearing up for the Olympics at the end of the week.  Looking back over the past few weeks having embarked on this project, it’s been a wonderful experiment and a joy. I feel ready to try something new but here are a few drawings as a reminder.

Stage 20 – Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Élysées

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Stage 20 – The final stage began in glorious sunshine, with greetings between teams, team-mates, opponents and champions. The stage ended with the most heart-stopping race around the Champs-Élysées. A magnificent stage win for Mark Cavendish, helped by the brilliant gentleman in yellow. Wiggins a worthy winner and champion and Britain’s first.  Here are my last drawings of this momentous event.

Stage 19 – Bonneval to Chartres

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Stage 19 – Today’s stage was all about time. Good weather, flat roads and every man against the crosswinds, the road and the clock. The fastest man came out last, wearing yellow, and struck home in one hour, four minutes and thirteen seconds. His team mate three minutes and twenty-one seconds behind him, his closest rival three minutes and thirty-eight seconds further behind. We’re holding our breath for Paris tomorrow. Here are some drawings

Stage 18 – Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde

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Stage 18 – The beginning of the end perhaps? A stage that wove through classic French countryside. There were castles, bridges and viaducts, fields and donkeys. However, all of these things were overshadowed by a great team supporting its world champion. The Missile exploded past everyone to take the win. What a man and what a team!  Here are the day’s drawings

Stage 17 – Bagneres-de-Luchon to Peyragudes

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Stage 17 – The last mountain stage. Fog, fog, fog! Really dangerous in places, wet with low visibility. The to and fro between Kessiakoff and Voeckler for the King of the Mountains was wonderful to see and the brilliance of Froome and Wiggins shone through the murk. Valverde triumphed to take the stage win.  Here are the day’s drawings

Lunch in the sun

Stage 16 – Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon

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Stage 16 – Beautiful, dramatic scenery with griffon vultures, cattle and sunshine! A massive stage with four major climbs. Wiggins and Froome held off a great challenge by Nibali, Cadel Evans fell back but the star of the stage was Thomas Voeckler who had a magnificent ride to claim King of the Mountains and a fifth win for France – Majestic! Here are the day’s drawings

Stage 15 – Samatan to Pau

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Stage 15 – The next stage in the foothills of the Pyenees – and yet another contrast! Beautiful sunshine, rolling fields of wheat and sunflowers – harvest in full swing. Today’s stage felt as gentle as the scenery compared to Sunday. Possibly the calm before the storm for the next climbing stages. The status quo maintained for yellow and green jersey and Pierrick Fedrigo took the stage win. Here are the day’s drawings

Stage 14 – Limoux to Foix

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Stage 14 – The Pyenees and what a contrast to yesterday? Dark overhanging trees, wet roads and misty skies. For the riders there were tremendous challenges, two hard climbs with steep descents, not to mention the astonishing action by someone to litter the road with carpet tacks, resulting in many punctures. Team BMC rallied round Cadel Evans whose bike was caught three times.Brad Wiggins honourably influenced the peloton to wait for him to catch up. Much more seriously, current King of the Mountains, Robert Kiserlovski had to abandon his Tour after a fall and suffering a broken collarbone, possibly as a result of this action. Although Sagan looked strong on the descent to take the stage, in fact Luis Leon Sanchez powered forward and took the win.  Here are today’s drawings