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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Tour de France 2013: Stage 1- Porto Vecchio to Bastia

Bonjour! Welcome to the start of the Centenary Tour de France, beginning this year in Corsica. What an amazing start it was? Such a beautiful island; the 200 riders set out in glorious sunshine and rode by the sea and the lower edges of the mountains in a stage that seemed to be going so well right up to the finish. With only a few km to go, a team bus and the winning line gantry came together in a dreadful collision, which echoed further back amongst the riders themselves. Serious injury sustained by some, lucky escapes for others. A great win for Kittel, his first yellow jersey. The scene is more than set for Stage Two! Here are my first drawings:

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Stage 20 – Rambouillet to Paris Champs-Élysées

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Stage 20 – The final stage began in glorious sunshine, with greetings between teams, team-mates, opponents and champions. The stage ended with the most heart-stopping race around the Champs-Élysées. A magnificent stage win for Mark Cavendish, helped by the brilliant gentleman in yellow. Wiggins a worthy winner and champion and Britain’s first.  Here are my last drawings of this momentous event.

Stage 19 – Bonneval to Chartres

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Stage 19 – Today’s stage was all about time. Good weather, flat roads and every man against the crosswinds, the road and the clock. The fastest man came out last, wearing yellow, and struck home in one hour, four minutes and thirteen seconds. His team mate three minutes and twenty-one seconds behind him, his closest rival three minutes and thirty-eight seconds further behind. We’re holding our breath for Paris tomorrow. Here are some drawings

Stage 18 – Blagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde

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Stage 18 – The beginning of the end perhaps? A stage that wove through classic French countryside. There were castles, bridges and viaducts, fields and donkeys. However, all of these things were overshadowed by a great team supporting its world champion. The Missile exploded past everyone to take the win. What a man and what a team!  Here are the day’s drawings

Stage 17 – Bagneres-de-Luchon to Peyragudes

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Stage 17 – The last mountain stage. Fog, fog, fog! Really dangerous in places, wet with low visibility. The to and fro between Kessiakoff and Voeckler for the King of the Mountains was wonderful to see and the brilliance of Froome and Wiggins shone through the murk. Valverde triumphed to take the stage win.  Here are the day’s drawings

Stage 16 – Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon

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Stage 16 – Beautiful, dramatic scenery with griffon vultures, cattle and sunshine! A massive stage with four major climbs. Wiggins and Froome held off a great challenge by Nibali, Cadel Evans fell back but the star of the stage was Thomas Voeckler who had a magnificent ride to claim King of the Mountains and a fifth win for France – Majestic! Here are the day’s drawings

Stage 15 – Samatan to Pau

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Stage 15 – The next stage in the foothills of the Pyenees – and yet another contrast! Beautiful sunshine, rolling fields of wheat and sunflowers – harvest in full swing. Today’s stage felt as gentle as the scenery compared to Sunday. Possibly the calm before the storm for the next climbing stages. The status quo maintained for yellow and green jersey and Pierrick Fedrigo took the stage win. Here are the day’s drawings

Stage 14 – Limoux to Foix

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Stage 14 – The Pyenees and what a contrast to yesterday? Dark overhanging trees, wet roads and misty skies. For the riders there were tremendous challenges, two hard climbs with steep descents, not to mention the astonishing action by someone to litter the road with carpet tacks, resulting in many punctures. Team BMC rallied round Cadel Evans whose bike was caught three times.Brad Wiggins honourably influenced the peloton to wait for him to catch up. Much more seriously, current King of the Mountains, Robert Kiserlovski had to abandon his Tour after a fall and suffering a broken collarbone, possibly as a result of this action. Although Sagan looked strong on the descent to take the stage, in fact Luis Leon Sanchez powered forward and took the win.  Here are today’s drawings