Tour de France 2013: Stage 13 – Tours to Saint-Amand-Montrond

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:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 12 – Fougères to Tours

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:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 11 – Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel

Bonjour! Today’s stage was the individual time trial, against the backdrop of the stunning Mont St Michel. A steadier day for most, upsetting day for one, but steady progress for Chris Froome and a stage win for Tony Martin whose pace caused brief collapse at the end.  Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 10 – Saint-Gildas-Des-Bois to Saint Malo

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:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 9 – Saint Girons to Bagnères-de-Bigorre

Bonjour! A fluid start to the second and final stage in the Pyrenees, with Chris Froome alone to keep up with Movistar leaders Quintana and Valverde. This year the Col de Mente was in glorious sunshine where it was foggy last year and the battle commenced from there at great pace. All sorts of surprises, Sky fell away, Movistar were strong, Froome clung to his yellow jersey like a limpet and Garmin Sharp’s Dan Martin shot away to climb and sprint his way to Stage victory. Phew! Time to take a breath! Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 8 – Castres to Ax 3 Domaines

Bonjour! Now the Tour heads for the hills in the first of two mountain stages in the Pyrenees. New star Quintana scorched past everyone as best young rider but was passed on the last climb by a storming Chris Froome, who won the yellow jersey. Wow! Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 7 – Montpellier to Albi

Bonjour! Southern stage takes the riders inland towards the Pyrenees. Agricultural landscapes contrast with Stage 6’s more industrial scenery. Essentially another stage for sprinters but the hills begin to test in readiness for the Pyrenees. Team Cannondale dominated the stage. Finally a great win for the big man in green, Peter Sagan. Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 6 – Aix-en-Provence to Montpellier

Bonjour! Another sprinters stage through the flatter landscape of Provence. Still the odd mountain and castle though, but much for the riders to contend with in the form of crosswinds courtesy of the Mistral. A fast end to the race, with a great win for Greipel. Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 5 – Cagnes-sur-Mer to Marseilles

Bonjour! Welcome to Provence! A very long stage through the region, through pretty villages, woodland, quiet lakes and rivers. What a treat? A great stage as well, with opportunities for the sprinters, culminating in an explosive shot over the line by Mark Cavendish. Bravo! Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 4 – Nice to Nice

Bonjour! Welcome to Nice! Fantastic team time trial in the most glamorous setting. What more to say? Exciting racing, Omega Pharma-Quick Step held the lead until Orica GreenEdge pipped them for the win by one second. Agony and ecstasy! Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 3- Ajaccio to Calvi

Bonjour! This was last stage set on the beautiful island of Corsica. Another climbing stage on tough roads carving through the pink rocks. Then through the streets to Calvi where garden walls tumbled with purple bougainvillea. The race was hot and gruelling. The remarkable finish, was decided by a photograph. Peter Sagan just lost out to the Australian, Simon Gerrans by a whisker! All set for Stage 4, back on the mainland in Nice. Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 2- Bastia to Ajaccio

Bonjour! After the drama and strange happenings of Stage 1, the second stage seemed somewhat calmer until the race reached Ajaccio. Strong legs required for the first of the climbing stages. Sky flexed their muscles with a chase through the streets and there was a surprise win for a very happy man, Jan Bakelants, with a one second gap! Here are my drawings:

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