La Vuelta 2013: Stage 21 – Leganés to Madrid

Hola! Stage 21 of La Vuelta comes to the Capital and home! The last stage unusually flat, and saw a great sprint around the streets of Madrid. Chris Horner was confirmed as overall winner, the oldest man to complete the Vuelta and the oldest man to win a Grand Tour. He’ll probably tire of hearing these statistics very quickly! A very happy Michael Matthews, took the stage win. Fans of cycling were delighted to have witnessed an amazing three weeks of racing.  Here are my drawings:

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 20 – Avilés to Alto de L’Angliru

Hola! Stage 20 of La Vuelta was the crunch stage! This is the one that decided the race. The course wasn’t for the fainthearted, with three tough climbs, but the toughest of them all, Alto de L’Angliru coming right at the end. Riders toiled through the mist and fog on one of the steepest climbs of the cycling calendar. The stage was won by young French rider Kenny Elissonde who worked amazingly hard to take the lead and hang on. On his tail was the owner of the red jersey, the astounding Chris Horner who has shown the world that…

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 19 – San Vicente de la Barquera to Oviedo

Hola! Stage 19 of La Vuelta saw a return to the coast and yet another steep climb to finish. Another gorgeous rural landscape leading through pretty villages to Oviedo. The race was exciting. Joaquim Rodriguez took the stage win, but the big news was that the red jersey became the property of American Chris Horner. Olé! Here are my drawings:

Kiriyenka on the descent! by Maxine Dodd, watercolour, pen and ink

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 18 – Burgos to Peña Cabarga

Hola! Stage 18 of La Vuelta explored the hills and pastoral landscape from Burgos towards the north coast. The stage had a sharp and steep climb to finish but took in lovely countryside along the way. There was a feeling of a step back in time. The race was very close, especially between the leaders Horner and Nibali who clung to the red jersey by only 2 seconds. However the stage was won for the first time this Vuelta by a member of the Sky team, Vasil Kiriyenka. Here are my drawings:

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 17 – Calahorra to Burgos

Hola! Stage 17 of La Vuelta was the first of the last five stages building towards the goal of Madrid. A gentler course than the Pyrenees, but there were still some climbs, with a sprint finish into Burgos. It seemed to be a day of varying shades of pink, from the fields, villages and towns to the vivid Lampre Merida team, but at the last gasp, the stage turned electric green in the form of a brilliant burst to the line by Bauke Mollema, who took everyone by surprise and the stage win! Wonderful! Here are my drawings:

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 16 – Graus to Sallent De Gállego

Hola! Stage 16 of La Vuelta was the last Pyrenean stage and most would be glad of that! However, the sun returned and shone on a beautiful mountain landscape cloaked in pine trees and green pasture. New star Warren Baguil led the way alongside Sky’s Rigoberto Uran both diving for the line together. The Frenchman won by a split second.  Here are my drawings:

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 15 – Andorra to Peyragudes

Hola! Stage 15 of La Vuelta continued through Andorra and the Pyrenees to make a unique border crossing to Peyragudes in France to honour the Centenary Tour. The atrocious conditions of yesterday took its toll on many and there were 21 retirements including Luke Rowe, Phillipe Gilbert and Tony Martin, many suffering from the extreme cold. Today’s gruelling stage continued where yesterday’s left off, in murk and mist, but the sun came through at last to shine on a very happy Alexandre Geniez – the young Frenchman’s best win of his career on home turf. Magnifique! Here are my drawings: