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!

Tour de France 2020: Stage 21 – Bennett takes Paris!

Stage 21, Bennett takes Paris! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Bennett takes Paris! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Bennett takes Paris!

Stage 21 was extraordinary – culminating in a wonderful sprint finish, with all the best points riders pushing to the limit to take the win. There was one rider who showed his class, the man in Green, Sam Bennett, who positively roared over the finish line – in fact, he kept on roaring, such was his joy! It was a special win for a special rider on this most special of Tours – We knew that this would be an historic Tour de France because of the pandemic, but 2020’s Tour de France will go down in history for its remarkable course, it’s remarkable conclusion – and for its major prizes being won by two phenomenal young riders – for me, the best reasons to remember this race. Vive Le Tour!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Stage 21, Bennett takes Paris! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Bennett takes Paris!

Bennett takes Paris!

£375

Original watercolour, pen and ink


28cm x 28cm (11in x 11in) image size

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Tour de France 2020: Stage 21 – Paris On the Champs!

Stage 21, Paris - On the Champs! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Paris - On the Champs! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Paris – On the Champs!

The race truly begins on Stage 21, when the riders reach the Champs-Élysées, the beautiful avenue that runs up to the Arc de Triomphe, one of the most famous roads in the world. It is the race for the sprinters, but to see that long peloton disappearing into the distance is incredible. Usually packed with fans at the roadside, it was eerily quiet this year, no Norwegian corner and people dotted around, as they should be. However, those there were treated to the fly past by the Patrouille de France, streaming the colours of the nation behind them as the race began in earnest below. Still magic, still the Champs-Élysées!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Stage 21, Paris - On the Champs! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Paris – On the Champs!

Paris – On the Champs!

£275

Original watercolour, pen and ink

Unframed
28cm x 28cm (11in x 11in)

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Tour de France 2020: Stage 21 – Bonjour Paris!

Stage 21, Rigoberto Uran, 'Bonjour Paris'! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

Here is the third image from Stage 21 – a little picture which shows Rigoberto Uran, throwing his arms into the air as he and his team-mates, passed by the glass Pyramids before crossing the courtyard of the Louvre. He threw his arms into the air, as though greeting a much-loved and much-missed friend.

I can only imagine how the riders feel on that last day – exhilaration? exhaustion? I hope a massive sense of achievement – they’ve made it!

Stage 21, Rigoberto Uran, 'Bonjour Paris'! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Stage 21, Rigoberto Uran, ‘Bonjour Paris’!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Tadej Pogačar wins the Tour de France!

Tadej Pogačar wins the Tour de France! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

Here is Tadej Pogačar throwing his bike to the line to win the stage and the whole race itself! There were only two men on the day’s podium, Sam Bennett as the final holder of the Green Jersey and three appearances by this super-talented young man. He is the stage winner, the King of the Mountains, the best Young rider – and the champion of the Tour de France – Wow!

Tadej Pogačar wins the Tour de France! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Tadej Pogačar wins the Tour de France!
Aintree - Grand National, The Start - SOLD, original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Aintree – Grand National, The Start – SOLD

Title – SOLD

Original watercolour with pen and ink

13.5cm x 14cm / 5.25in x 5.5in

Unframed

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Seeing Double

Seeing double, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

This view is a split screen view of the two men battling for the stage and the Tour de France itself..two friends and compatriots, but both having completely different experiences on this day. Roglic just was not himself – he looked wrong on the bike, pale in the face and even his helmet was askew – so different from the sophisticated talent we have seen day after day on this Tour – Pogacar meanwhile was smooth, strong and very fast – zooming up the notorious climb with great skill and style.

Seeing double, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Seeing double…

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Start line reflections – Primož Roglič

Start line reflections: Primož Roglič, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

The final reflection is Primož Roglič, in Yellow, waiting to start the last round before Paris – Primož Roglič is the current holder of the Red Jersey for La Vuelta a Espana and now poised to add the Tour de France to his career highs – just this one supreme effort to complete the work put in so far…

Start line reflections: Primož Roglič, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Start line reflections: Primož Roglič

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Start line reflections – Tadej Pogačar

Start line reflections: Tadej Pogačar, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

Here is Tadej Pogačar ready to start the last round before Paris – he is wearing the White Jersey as best young rider – at 21, one of the youngest – and he has been outstanding throughout this Tour, alongside his friend and compatriot,Primož Roglič. At this point in the race, he would have to do something incredible to take Yellow and the top spot in Paris…

Start line reflections: Tadej Pogačar, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Start line reflections: Tadej Pogačar

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Start line reflections – Richie Porte

Start line reflections-Richie Porte, watercolour, pen and ink, by Maxine Dodd

Another much-loved rider, Tasmanian star, Richie Porte, who, like Pinot, has more than his fair share of extreme events on this race over the years. This year, Richie has been fantastic yet again, and finally in position for a place on the podium, if all goes well on this run. I wonder though, in these moments of reflection before starting out, if his thoughts turned to his precious new baby, who was born while her daddy was riding this great race….No better motivation or inspiration.

Start line reflections-Richie Porte, watercolour, pen and ink, by Maxine Dodd
Start line reflections-Richie Porte

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Start line reflections – Pinot! Pinot!

Start line reflections: Pinot! Pinot! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

The next few images, I have called ‘Start line reflections’, initially because I am fascinated by the reflections in the helmet screens that riders wear. The thought then dawned on me that the wait for the rider before setting off may also be a time of reflection? I expect mostly they are thinking about the job in hand, but are there a few seconds when their thoughts turn elsewhere? I wonder…

The first image is the great French hero Thibaut Pinot waiting for the countdown. I wonder if he could hear the fans chanting his name, ‘Pinot! Pinot!’? He is such a popular rider, and along with so many great French stars, bears the weight of the whole country desperate for a win. Any fan of the England football team knows exactly how the French fans feel – it would be fantastic for a win soon – it’s a long time coming!

 Start line reflections: Pinot! Pinot! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Start line reflections: Pinot! Pinot!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 20 – Masks – or not!

Masks - or not! Watercolour, pen and ink, by Maxine Dodd

Stage 20 was the only time-trial of this year’s race, but with a fantastic course finishing on La Planche des Belles Filles – one of the most iconic settings, which has become a firm favourite with fans since the Tour first visited in 2012.

The first image shows Rémi Cavagna (DQS) making the climb past a huge numbers of fans – most of whom were wearing masks, but some taking them off or were without all together in order to cheer on their heroes.

Masks - or not! Watercolour, pen and ink, by Maxine Dodd
Masks – or not!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 19 – The Meeting of the shirts

The meeting of the shirts, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

I really enjoy making pictures of the four Jerseys and usually the best time to do this is before the start or during the rollout. Stage 19 had some great views of the four of them waiting and chatting before the day’s work began.

So here they are, the four best riders in each class at this point of the race, from left to right, Richard Carapaz, (Ineos Grenadiers), King of the Mountains, Primož Roglič, (Jumbo Visma), Yellow Jersey, Tadej Pogačar, (UAE), Best Young Rider, Sam Bennett, Deceuninck–Quick-Step, Best Sprinter. I think they are all fantastic, but I am biased!

The meeting of the shirts, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
The meeting of the shirts

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 19 – Søren Kragh Andersen flying to victory…

Søren Kragh Anderson flying to victory! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

Søren Kragh Andersen, took off with around 22km left, in the most remarkable descent. Again, it was another great tactical manoeuvre by his team Sunweb, and he sustained this breakaway at breathtaking speed, which was both alarming and exhilarating to watch. His move was rewarded with another stage win, as no one else could catch him. Incredible!

Søren Kragh Anderson flying to victory! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Søren Kragh Anderson flying to victory! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 19 – Watching Le Tour

Watching Le Tour, watercolour, pen and ink, by Maxine Dodd

The course of Stage 19 passed through the loveliest countryside – and judging by the land art, a great dairy producer – These ladies were enjoying the sunshine until their interest was piqued by a sudden noise made by a strange, colourful creature with lots of legs – it whirred too. Some of the ladies felt that they’d seen one before, but couldn’t quite remember when…

Watching Le Tour, watercolour, pen and ink, by Maxine Dodd
Watching Le Tour

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 18 – Fast and furious!

Fast and furious! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

The real story of Stage 18, came from Ineos Grenadiers, who suffered great disappointment and sadness over Egan Bernal. The reigning champion was in such a bad state, that the team decided to withdraw him from the race, fearing further injury should he continue. Michal Kwiatkowski and Richard Carapaz formed a phenomenal break that lasted to the finish. They set a fantastic pace, reminding us that this team remains a forceful presence in the race.

Fast and furious! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Fast and furious!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 18 – Gravel!

Gravel! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

Another feature of the route today, was a section noted for its gravel roads, never easy for riders and their teams for fears of punctures or falls, but very dramatic for the viewers and photographers, with the potential of smokey looking images, full of atmosphere. This is my attempt, which shows the Yellow and Polka Dot jerseys passing through the gravel, no doubt with more than a mouthful of dust in their lungs afterwards…

Gravel! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Gravel!

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 18 – Wow!

Wow! Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

If there is one thing that this year’s Tour de France would teach a visitor from outer space about France, is that it is a country with the most remarkable collection of mountains! I am staggered every year by the landscape and especially the mountain stages, but this year, they have seemed even more breathtaking than ever. This scenery typical of the views throughout the day! Wow!

Wow! Who lives there? Watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Wow! Who lives there?

Have a good day today.. 🙂

Tour de France 2020: Stage 16 – Colombia and Lancashire

Colombia and Lancashire, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd

Another team in the race is Education First, (born out of Garmin). They wear a fantastic pink and navy strip, which I love, as you can always spot them easily. This second image shows a nice moment between team-mates, Rigoberto Uran from Colombia and Hugh John Carthy from Lancashire in the UK, riding and chatting together.

Colombia and Lancashire, watercolour, pen and ink by Maxine Dodd
Colombia and Lancashire

Have a good day today.. 🙂