Tour de France, art, cycling, Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2016: Stage 21 – Chantilly to Paris Champs-Élysées

Bonjour! Stage 21, the triumphal ride into Paris! The sun came out – a relief after the past two days and there was the usual friendly handshakes and congratulations to the Yellow Jersey. Team Sky were in good mood, enjoying beer en route and all processed gracefully to Paris. The racing began on the Champs-Élysées. The win went to André Greipel like last year, but all the more sweet for him as a stage win had eluded him this Tour. Finally, the champions, Team Sky brought home their man, Chris Froome – a brilliant third win. Definitely time for a…

Tour de France, cycling, art, Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2016: Stage 20 – Megève to Morzine-Avoriaz

Bonjour! Stage 20 The last Alpine stage and, nearly the end of the race! In some ways it was a continuation of yesterday – pouring rain, tough climbs and daring descents. The stage began with silence to remember the victims of the terror attack in Munich, so sadly, my dove appears again. There were brave rides by Alaphilippe, Pantano and Nibali but the outstanding descent came from Movistar’s Ion Izagirre, who took the stage win. It was fitting that Poels and Froome crossed the last mountain together, Froome riding on to win the whole race along with all his eight comrades from Team…

Tour de France, cycling, art, Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2016: Stage 19 – Albertville to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc

Bonjour! Stage 19 was an amazing stage. It had everything, from sunshine to torrential rain, from brave breakaways to individual brilliance. The Astana team went to the front, took a look around and just went for it! They led for much of the day. The rain came towards the end of the stage, changing everything, suddenly everyone was losing balance, some falling badly including Pierre Rolland and Chris Froome, the latter completing the stage on another borrowed bike. He was helped along the last painful metres by his team-mate, Wout Pouels. At the finish, one of cycling’s best descenders, Romain Bardet, stole…

Tour de France, art, Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2016: Stage 18 – Sallanches to Megève

Bonjour! Stage 18 was the second time-trial of this year’s Tour. This one was an uphill course where time-trial specialist, Tom Dumoulin was expected to repeat his sparkling performance from Stage 13. He put in a great time which no-one could catch, until Chris Froome set out. At the first time-check he was in 5th place, ‘unusual for him’ said the commentator. At the second time-check, he had gained 14 seconds and was speeding up. After the descent,  he stormed home to victory, riding 21 seconds faster than Dumoulin. An incredible ride! Here are my drawings:  

Tour de France, art, Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2016: Stage 17 – Berne to Finhaut-Emosson

Bonjour! Stage 17 went further into the Alps – (an area where I confess I have a connection, as one of my paintings lives nearby!) It was another blistering hot day, with four major climbs, including the Col de la Forclaz, with its winding road and great descent. The final climb was tough too, the gradient so steep that first-time stage winner, Ilnur Zakarin, almost ran out of time, not to mention his balance, to do up his jacket. It was a great win after a tough day! Here are my drawings:  

Tour de France, art, Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2016: Stage 16 – Moirans-en-Montagne to Berne

Bonjour! Stage 16 was a trip into Switzerland in honour of Fabian Cancellara for whom this will be his final Tour. The weather was fabulous and hot – perhaps a bit unbearable on a bike!  The stage was lead most of the way by Tony Martin and Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step) in a such a strong ride that they both won the ‘most aggressive rider’ award, appearing together on the podium in a unique ‘first’. They couldn’t sustain their amazing performance for the sprint at the end – the big sprinters taking over, Alexander Kristoff losing out by a whisker to the immense Peter…

Tour de France, cycling, art, Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2016: Stage 15 – Bourg-en-Bresse to Culoz

Bonjour! Stage 15 saw the route heading towards the Alps – the mountains and Mont Blanc clearly in view. There were climbs and descents but the excitement came with the tactical race – almost time-trial-like to look at – between Rafal Majka and Colombian rider, Jarlinson Pantano. They needled their way to the finish with a sudden sprint that Majka looked set to win but Pantano struck through to take the stage. He rides for Swiss team IAM Cycling and the day before the race crosses the border to Switzerland, this seemed a wholly fitting victory. Here are my drawings: