Tour de France 2021: Here it comes!

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.

cycling art, tour de france
Stage 11, Leaving Albertville

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.

Stage 15 – Carcassonne, pink rooftops and green trees

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 – Head down for No.28,

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.

A tribute win for Alaphilippe

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.

Tour de France, Cycling, art, Sunny peloton, by Maxine Dodd
Lizzie takes the win! La Course 2020

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!

Allez! Allez!

Amigos
Stage 19 – Heartbreaking
cycling art, tour de france
Incredible stretch!
Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Les Gorges du Tarn, Stage 14 by Maxine Dodd
Les Gorges du Tarn, Stage 14
Cycling, south of France, Mediterranean sea
Peloton comes over the hill to a field of sunflowers,
cycling art, tour de france
All the red flags!
The coast road, by Maxine Dodd
Flags and caravans
Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Chaos on the mountains, Allez! Stage 19, by Maxine Dodd
Chaos on the mountains, Allez!
Cycling, art, Tour de France
Bora attack!
Hirschi takes the top of the climb

Next, the rain! It’s lovely to draw, not so great to ride…

Tour de France, cycling, art, Maxine Dodd
The last climb!
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 17- Feel the rain!
Torrential rain!
Poor visibility
cycling art, tour de france
Start line reflections-Richie Porte
Start line reflections: Primož Roglič
The meeting of the shirts
Watching Le Tour
Beautiful blue skies and bunting!
Greipel wins!
All yellow for Chris!
Unstoppable Wout!
Kämna wins! Watercolour pen and ink, by Maxine Dodd
Brilliant Barguil!
Chris Froome sets out
Stage 20 – Nibali crosses the line!
A quick look back, Alexy Lutsenko
Second for Sagan; First for Van Avermaet
Descending like a skier, Sagan, Stage 16
cycling art, tour de france
FDJ, 19.1km
Stage 21, Paris – On the Champs!
cycling, art, tour de france, cavendish, sagan

Tour de France 2017: Elbow – Sold

Hello! There was one talking point from Stage 4. The end of the stage and the end of the race both for Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan. I suspect the debate on the crash will last for a long time. Whatever your opinion, perhaps cycling fans can agree on one thing – that the race has lost two of its best and most exciting riders – and will be much the poorer for it. There are many photographs and videos of the incident, here’s my painting.

cycling, art, tour de france, cavendish, sagan

Elbow – SOLD

For more on Stage 4… See Velovoices article

Copyright Maxine Dodd

Cycling art, Tour de France, watercolour pen and ink painting, Close to Yellow by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2014: Stage 2 – York to Sheffield

Bonjour! The second stage of the Tour de France’s Grand Depart left the Dales for the Peak District from the ancient city of York to the steel city of Sheffield. There were more spills but fortunately not as catastrophic as yesterday’s crash. The route was greeted by more huge crowds, estimates of a million people following the race, simply astonishing. The stage was won by Vincnezo Nibali. Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2014: Stage 1 – Leeds to Harrogate

Bonjour! – or should that be ‘Hello’?  The Tour de France’s Grand Depart took place in the in the beautiful county of Yorkshire. Pretty villages, grand towns and dramatic hills and fields. Yorkshire embraced the Tour as its own, turning the county yellow with bunting, painted bikes, sculptures and scarecrows. Riders were greeted by Royalty, Red Arrows, brass bands, a million or so people and the sun shone. The stage was won in a dash by Marcel Kittel after a dramatic accident involving Mark Cavendish. A ripping start to the Tour!  Here are my first drawings:

Back to Blighty – Tour of Britain 2013

Hello!  The Tour of Britain flew past in a flash! Only 8 stages but very entertaining ones they were, with the return of Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. From Scotland to Wales and south into England, the landscape was beautiful, but boy it was wet!  Here are my drawings:

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cycling art, tour de france

Tour de France 2013: Stage 21 – Versailles to Paris Champs-Élysées

Bonjour! Stage 21 is the celebration stage. Rolling out from the Palace of Versailles and heading for Paris in the evening for a twighlight sprint around the Champs-Élysées. Setting off in beautiful late afternoon sunshine, all the riders looked relaxed and in good mood. This year, the sprint went round the Arc du Triomphe and there was an immense battle, the win was Kittel’s. Sky came together to cross the line in support of their leader in yellow jersey. What a race and what a finish? Can’t wait until next year! Here are my drawings:

cycling art

Tour de France 2013: Stage 20 – Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz

Bonjour! Stage 20 was outstanding, from the weather and scenery to incredible racing. There were many highlights, including Jens Voigt showing the youngsters how to climb a hill and fantastic breaks between Froome, Quintana and Rodriguez, not to mention some handsome cattle suitably dressed. Most of the final places overall were resolved in this stage. Peter Sagan held on to the Green; Polkadot and White jerseys both went to the astounding Nairo Quintana and Yellow remained with the modest Englishman, Chris Froome. The stage is set for a fantastic celebration tomorrow in Paris. Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 19 – Bourg-d’Oisans to Le Grand Bornand

Bonjour! Stage 19 was a long stage, with five climbs overall. Sky had a better day and Chris Froome held on to his lead. Pierre Rolland, showed his metal in the climbs and descents for much of the race, but eventually overtaken for the win by Rui Costa. The real winner today perhaps was the rain, which in spite of the bright start came by the bucketload at the end of the day. Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 18 – Gap to Alpe d’Huez

Bonjour! Stage 18, the one with the notorious climb to Alpe d’Huez, lived up to expectations. An intense, gruelling stage, leaving riders not only battling the hill, but contending with arguably the largest crowds ever. The roads were chaotic all the way. Van Garderen led for most of the race and then with barely 2km to go, Christophe Riblon found a burst of energy and powered past, leaving the American in his wake. Making up for the disappointment of Jean-Christophe Peraud, Stage 18 was a fantastic win for Riblon. Magnifique! Here are my drawings:

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