Tour de France – Stage 7 – Revisited

Bonjour! It’s nearly July and for me, that means only one thing – Le Tour! This year is so different but July is nearly with us and I don’t see why we shouldn’t relive some memories and make some new ones.

The drawing here, I made on Saturday – by chance I found that Eurosport were replaying Stage 7 of the 2012 Tour – a phenomenal stage in every way. The landscape was outstanding and the climax to the stage was the killer climb to La Planche des Belles Filles, it was the stage that really showed us what was to come from Chris Froome and the Stage when Sir Bradley took his Yellow Jersey. Whatever controversies have followed since – I still remember and look back with huge excitement on this stage – it was a lovely day and especially for UK cycling fans like me.

Tour de France, Stage 7, Revisited, 45KM

So this picture made from the scenes at around 45km, shows that excitement that we enjoyed then and I for one, am going to miss for the next few weeks – the crowds doing daft things at the side of the road, the flags, the energy and the fabulous animal that is the peloton.

This is my drawing, made with my favourite media, pen and ink and watercolour on my favourite watercolour paper, 8in x 8in, 20cm x 20cm – have a great Tuesday!

Au revoir

Tour de France 2016: Stage 12 – Montpellier to Mont Ventoux (Chalet-Reynard)

Bonjour! Stage 12 is one that will live long in the memory for the worst possible reasons. The day began with a change of plan – the mountain too savaged by winds for the race to complete there. A new finish was decided upon at Chalet-Reynard. Crowds and media installed at the top, moved down to the new location, where there were crowds already. As the stage came to its climax, weaving through the throng of people, there was an horrendous collision for Richie Porte and then Chris Froome lost his bike completely. The sight of a desperate yellow jersey running to the finish until a new bike could reach him was extraordinary. The stage was won by Thomas De Gendt and fellow Belgian Serge Pauwels came second. It appeared that Froome and Porte had lost their places in the overall classification. The balance was restored by the organisers the next day. All of this dissolved to nothing later in the evening, as children and their families were mercilessly attacked in Nice. I gave up. Later, I drew a dove to remember them – a drop in the ocean. Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2016: Stage 11 – Carcassonne to Montpellier

Bonjour! Stage 11 was a hot, long route through red hills, violet skies and strong crosswinds but with a finish set for the sprinters. The expected win came from Green Jersey holder and World Champion, Peter Sagan. The complete surprise came from Chris Froome who sprinted alongside! Both men retained their jerseys and advanced their leads. A remarkable finish!  Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2014: Stage 5 – Ypres to Arenberg Porte du Hainaut

Bonjour! This was the stage that every fan of the Tour and every rider was dreading! Riding on the infamous cobbled pavés – torrential rain added even more danger to the cocktail. Sadly, the reigning champion’s race ended on the wet road, with two further falls. The rain hammered down all day and in marked contrast to the previous stages, the winner dragged himself over the line alone, covered in mud, but very happy. Congratulations to Lars Boom. What on earth will happen tomorrow?  Here are my drawings:

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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:

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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:

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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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Tour de France 2013: Stage 17 – Embrun to Chorges

Bonjour! Stage 17 was an action-packed individual time trial. The terrain was tough with climbs and descents – made all the trickier because of patchy rain. The big decision for teams was to complete the stage on one bike or to change mid-way for the fast descent. Chris Froome and Sky chose the second option and gained vital seconds to take the stage. Heartbreak and pain came for Jean-Christophe Peraud, whose fall during practice injured his collar-bone and elbow. He bravely chose to ride the stage, but fell a second time, compounding the original injuries. Pain and heartbreak for him and his fansHere are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2013: Stage 16 – Vaison-la-Romaine to Gap

Bonjour! Stage 16 saw the Alpine stages begin travelling through quietly dramatic scenery, through gorges and by rivers. The stage closed with a climb and hair-raising descent of the Col de Mense. A passing train briefly brought all the riders to a halt and likewise, Chris Froome was momentarily dislodged by a hurtling Contador. Rui Costa joyfully took the stage win, with the battle for yellow grinding on behind him. It’s still on Froome’s back… just! Here are my drawings:

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