Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting BMC, World Champs, by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 9 – Vannes to Plumelec

Bonjour! A team time-trial provided the excitement on Stage 9, before the rest day and the first real mountain stages in the Pyrenees on Tuesday. Time trials show the technique of riding so well and it’s a delight to see a well-practiced team moving like a machine, absorbing the air to go faster. This course was unusually placed in the Tour and with a sharp kick-climb at the end, really tested each teams’ skills. There are several masters of this discipline, including the current world champions, BMC – who are a joy to watch. They took the win from Sky by one…

Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting SOLD - All the colours of Brittany, by Maxine Dodd, SOLD

Tour de France 2015: Stage 8 – Rennes to Mûr-de-Bretagne

Bonjour! Stage 8 Another hot day in the saddle for the riders, following a meandering route through Brittany with the Mur de Bretagne climb at the finish. The fans turned out by the score, cheering the riders. In the race itself, Chris Froome won the Yellow Jersey, Daniel Teklehaimanot retained Polka Dot, Peter Sagan won the sprinter’s Green and Alexis Vuillermoz delivered the first stage victory for France and his AG2R La Mondiale team. All in all, this was a very happy Saturday! Here are my drawings:  

Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Elbows! Stage 7 by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 7 – Livarot to Fougères

Bonjour! Stage 7 saw another lovely sunny day, the route through the Normandy fields on into Brittany, was lined with fans all the way. Daniel Teklehaimanot was part of the leading group for a great part of the day and retained the Polka Dot jersey. For British fans, the joy came from seeing the huge smile on the face of Mark Cavendish after he charged past the sprinters to take his first TDF stage win for 2 years and No.26 in total. He’s after the all-time record for stage wins and this brought him a little closer! This was a great day’s racing. Here…

Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Historic day, Daniel Teklehaimanot, by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 6 – Abbeville to Le Havre

Bonjour! Stage 6 saw a complete transformation in conditions – the sun shone brilliantly, there were gentler crosswinds and the course followed the beautiful Normandy coastline to Le Havre. This was an emotional stage – and an historic one – we saw Daniel Teklehaimanot win the Polka Dot Jersey (King of the Mountains), the first rider from Africa (Eritrea) so to do. A wonderful moment, as he gave a ‘thumbs up’ to the camera. In complete contrast, Tony Martin had his saddest moment as he became caught up in yet another accident near the finish. The loyalty of his Etixx-Quick Step team-mates who…

Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Another big crash, by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 5 – Arras to Amiens

Bonjour! Stage 5 took a bleak turn heading through driving wind and rain, on a course past the fields, cemeteries and memorials of the World Wars. Flags and pennants, bedraggled by the wind, lined the streets, along with many fans. This was another flat stage, suited to sprinters. Sadly, France’s champion, Nacer Bouhanni, fell in another crash on the slippery roads. Meanwhile, Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish were beaten by an inspired Andre Greipel – another brilliant stage win from him. Tony Martin contained Team Sky to retain the Yellow Jersey. Here are my drawings:

Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Shall we have a breakaway of sprinters? C'mon! by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 4 – Seraing to Cambrai

Bonjour! Stage 4 crossed from Belgium to France through wide fields on narrow, dusty lanes to town streets, but all featuring cobbles, seven gruelling sections in total. A much happier day for most than Stage 3, but for those nursing serious injuries, the cobbles must have been hellish. The top teams and positions stayed pretty much as before; Team Sky rode a great race and there was a lovely moment after the intermediate sprint where Peter Sagan, with a twirl of his finger, appeared to suggest a breakaway among the sprinters (they didn’t accept the invitation!) but the real delight of the day came…

Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting A quick look back, Rodriguez and Froome by Maxine Dodd, RESERVED

Tour de France 2015: Stage 3 – Anvers to Huy

Bonjour! Stage 3 headed towards France via Belgium, on a course that finished with a climb on the notorious Mur de Huy. All proceeded well, in bright sunshine, until an horrendous crash caused riders to pile into each other, landing round a streetlight. Many fell, including Yellow Jersey, Cancellara and four riders abandoned. The race was halted while medics worked on the injured. Eventually, the stage restarted with battered and bruised riders, including Cancellara, making their way to the finish.* The closing climb produced a nailbiting finish; the win for Rodriguez, but second place, Chris Froome, scored enough bonus points to secure the Yellow Jersey. A…