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:

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:

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…

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:

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:

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…

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…