A phenomenal ride on the Mûr-de-Bretagne for the time bonus on the first pass, followed with an outstanding solo effort to win the stage and take the Yellow Jersey that his grand-father Raymond Poulidor never had in his prestigious career.
Matthieu was beside himself with the emotion and significance of his win, completely understandable and admirable. What a great start to the race by this young man.
Hello and bonjour! The last day before the start of the 108th Tour de France, and to post of some of my favourite images over the years inspired by this great race.
I am amazed to admit that this will be the tenth time I have made drawings and paintings of the Tour, my first being in 2012. It was a turning point for my art (and my life) in many ways, so this will be a special race from a personal perspective too. The start of an anniversary year, in fact, so I am very excited to say the least.
The race itself promises, as ever, to be a diverse and colourful course, this year starting in Brittany, which will be lovely to see. Other highlights for me include a return to Albertville, Nîmes and Carcassonne along with a nice detour through Andorra, which will bring back memories of skiing holidays we enjoyed years ago.
From the the point of view of the race itself, there’s a lot to look forward to. Personally, I shall have everything crossed for Mark Cavendish, one the most exciting riders for me, but also one with his unfair share of bad luck lately. He is so passionate about this race and so close to Merckx’ record, it would be phenomenal to see him succeed.
Cavendish will ride alongside Julian Alaphilippe, another rider who is a joy to watch. I just love them both and I confess, Deceuninck–Quick-Step, will be a team I shall be keen to see do well.
La Course, the partner women’s race will take place tomorrow, following a similar route tothe men’s Stage 1 route, but the really significant news for women’s cycling is that Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme made a long-awaited confirmation that Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) will launch a women’s Tour de France in 2022. Finally!!! I can’t wait to draw it! A wonderful way to round off my anniversary year.
So, not long to go… let’s hope for good weather, good riding, no controversies, definitely no COVID, and plenty of scenes of France itself, for many of us, it will be our only way to visit this year. Wishing the teams and the Tour, the very best! Scroll down to see some pictures to whet your appetite!
Next, the rain! It’s lovely to draw, not so great to ride…
Bonjour! Stage 13 was another long stage crossing the farmland of central France towards Lyon. A few surprises as Kittel fell away along with Valverde. While Sky dissolved, Contador attacked Froome’s lead, but he clung on to the yellow jersey. This time though the stage belonged to Cavendish. Number 25 – Brilliant! Here are my drawings:
Bonjour! Stage 12 was long and flat, carving inland across the country. Another stage for the sprinters. Generally a quiet stage until the end, when there was an awful crash, injuring several riders. Much was expected from Cavendish and he broke away brilliantly, duelling with Marcel Kittel, who took the stage by the length of half a wheel! Here are my drawings:
Bonjour! The Tour moves north to Brittany for a relatively flat, peaceful stage. Not a bit of it, the scenery was rolling and green with beautiful coastal roads. Riders coped with unpredictable crosswinds and, at times, each other. Controversial and exciting, Marcel Kittel surged across the finishing line to pip Greipel to the win. Here are my drawings:
Following the Peloton
Up the hill from the sea
Marcel Kittel takes the stage – Mounted ready to frame 40cm x 40cm