Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting SOLD - Haring to victory, Stephen Cummings, by Maxine Dodd, SOLD

Tour de France 2015: Stage 14 – Rodez to Mende – Steve Cummings

Hello! No you haven’t gone back in time, don’t worry! Today’s 2022 stage, revisited Mende, which was memorably part of the Tour in 2015. That visit, saw a special win for a unique team, MTN-Qhubeka, the first South African team on the Tour, which happened to have Brit Steve Cummings as a member. Read my account below for memories of a very special day. ITV 4 have just featured it on its highlights show and it all came flooding back! Steve is now at Ineos as director sportif and spoke so well about his win that day. On a personal note, my painting went to my friend Mike which was fantastic. Thanks as ever! Read on and enjoy!

Bonjour! Stage 14 passed through some of the most stunning scenery so far on this Tour – the stars of the stage being, arguably, Les Gorges du Tarn. Back down to earth with the bike race and Team Sky held their place, but the wonderful surprise came from a British rider, Stephen Cummings, who took the stage win for his team MTN-Qhubeka – the perfect celebration for Nelson Mandela day!  Here are my drawings:

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La Course, Champs-Élysées, by Maxine Dodd

A wider perspective

Hello! I’ve been out and about a bit this week, including a visit to a local art group where we were looking at composition using a panorama. I think it’s a wonderful format which can be used for many subjects. It allows scope for storytelling, (the Bayeux Tapestry being one of the earliest and largest examples) cartoons and film all use the format – and you can do interesting things by turning it up on its end. Many cameras and phones offer a panorama setting these days, so it’s fun to try some. Have a lovely weekend! Here are some of my panoramas:

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La Course, Paris, by Maxine Dodd

La Course by Le Tour de France 2015: Paris Champs-Élysées

Bonjour! La Course at Le Tour de France is a new women’s race initiated last year to great acclaim. It precedes the final stage of the men’s Tour and provides exciting racing on the Champs-Élysées. The racers include the best in the world today (including some from the Women’s Tour in Kettering only a few weeks ago). The conditions were simply awful! The rain was torrential and the roads treacherous. The sprint to the finish saw the win for Anna van der Breggen, a worthy winner. This was an outstanding race, amazing to see.  Here are my drawings:

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Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Team Sky riding to victory, Stage 21 by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 21 – Sèvres, Grand Paris Seine Ouest to Paris Champs-Élysées

Bonjour! Stage 21, the final stage in Paris sets the seal on the Tour. Regarded by some as a procession or show stage, there is still the matter of the Yellow Jersey completing the course before the phenomenal final sprint on the Champs-Élysées. Not quite so predictable on this occasion, as the roads were made treacherous by torrential rain. The day in Paris began as last year, with the new women’s race, La Course. I felt compelled to include this as the racing was just outstanding. (A full post especially dedicated to it will follow) After this breathtaking race, the men’s Tour exploded onto the great Paris streets, with another momentous victory for Andre Greipel. What an extraordinary Tour this has been? Just wonderful! As a British fan, I share the delight for Team Sky and Chris Froome – a great achievement for them. Congratulations! Here are my drawings:

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Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting, Dutch corner, Stage 20, by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 20 – Modane Valfréjus to Alpe d’Huez

Bonjour! Stage 20, the final stage in the Alps and probably the hardest of them all, as the route peaks on the magnificent and notorious Alpe d’Huez. It’s demanding, tough and lined with more fans than you could ever imagine. This was a mesmerising stage, with astonishing breakaways from Valverde and of course Nairo Quintana, who pushed Chris Froome and Team Sky to their limits. The stage win went to an exultant Thibaut Pinot, but the Yellow Jersey stayed with Chris Froome. So after four immense days, we’re set for Paris!  Here are my drawings:

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Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Chaos on the mountains, Allez! Stage 19, by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 19 – Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to La Toussuire – Les Sybelles

Bonjour! Stage 19 continued in the Alps. It was a really tough day for everyone – even the smooth progress of Team Sky appeared to unravel after a quick breakaway from Valverde and Contador left them reeling. Suddenly Chris Froome was racing virtually alone as his team-mates fell away. For British fans, the saddest demise was that of super G, Geraint Thomas, who simply ‘had nothing left’. A controversial break at the close of the stage gave last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali his chance to restore his self-confidence with a the stage win. Here are my drawings:

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Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting How did they get that up there? Lacets de Montvernier, Stage 18, by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 18 – Gap to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

Bonjour! Stage 18 was arguably the best this year. As a course, it had everything. It was a long stage which began on the flat, ascended several hard climbs, some 1:10, with descents to match! The climax came at the the end, where the course followed the most remarkable road known as the Lacets de Montvernier, the ‘shoe laces’ which has 17 turns on its path up the sheer mountain face. People were perched on the top waiting for the riders. Simply amazing! It was an incredible race for the key players and delight for the French fans, who had the stage winner in Romain Bardet, while following hot on his heels was Pierre Rolland. C’est magnifique! Here are my drawings:

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Enough, Tejay, Stage 17, by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 17 – Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup

Bonjour! Stage 17 followed the rest day and marked the beginning of the final section of this year’s Tour. It was the first of four gruelling days in the Alps, with all that goes with them; dramatic scenery, gut-wrenching climbs, toe-curling descents and roads strewn round the mountains like ribbons. This stage cruelly claimed Tejay van Garderen, the American rider, in third place at the start, but he broke down and could go no further. By complete contrast, the wonderfully-bearded Simon Geschke, claimed his first Tour stage win, brilliantly climbing and descending to the finish. In the race within the race, there was great riding and sportsmanship between Nairo Quintana and Chris Froome who battled to the finish line. Sky keep the yellow but they can’t lose concentration for one minute! What a start to the finish? Simply amazing! Here are my drawings:

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In case you were wondering… all the paintings are original and for sale. To find out more about them and how to buy, click here or Picture Information


Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Coming up the hill, part one, Stage 16, by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 16 – Bourg-de-Péage to Gap

Bonjour! Stage 16 was the prelude to the final climbing stages in the Alps. This stage again followed a long, hot course through dramatic scenery. This stage had two hard climbs but was really more about the infamous descent into Gap. This road has seen many riders come to grief and Sky’s Geraint Thomas fell prey to it this time with a very nasty fall. Heroic descender Peter Sagan worked his magic, weaving his way down the mountains, hoping for his first stage win only to be pipped into second place yet again by a remarkable ride from Rubén Plaza. Here are my drawings:

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