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 2018: Stage 16 – Heading for the High Pyrenees…

Hello! This is another piece reflecting the scenery on this French odyssey. This time the foothills of the Pyrenees – where France meets Spain in spectacular style. I suppose this could be described as the calm before the storm – Stage 16 went well for the riders of the General Classification but today’s stage will be different, explosive and short, but all ups and downs… It will be, arguably, the ultimate test this year – so do enjoy this tranquil scene before it all kicks off later!  🙂Cycling art, Tour de France, Stage 16 - Heading for the high Pyrenees..

Stage 16 – Heading for the High Pyrenees..All the paintings are for sale (unless marked SOLD).  Click to buy Thank you! 🙂  For full details, please visit Picture Info

 

Tour de France 2015: Stage 12 – Lannemezan to Plateau de Beille

Bonjour! Stage 12, the final one in the Pyrenees, where the weather gods seem to punish all and sundry! From sunshine to hail, with driving wind and rain, it was a gruelling stage. There was a great spell by World Champion, Michał Kwiatkowski who with Vanmarcke lead for some distance, but the day belonged to Joaquim ‘Purito’ (the little cigar) Rodriguez, who rode a phenomenal last stretch to conquer the mountain. Wow! Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2015: Stage 11 – Pau to Cauterets

Bonjour! Stage 11 saw the second day in the Pyrenees with a course that included two notorious climbs, the Col d’Aspin and the Col du Tourmalet. The climbs are so hard but the speed in the descents is hair-raising! So many close shaves and near misses – even a herd of cows – adroitly dodged by Warren Barguil. The crowds were out in force, tents caravans and bikes everywhere. Majka took the win and Team Sky continue to pursue their goal with skill and determination. A great day! Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2015: Stage 10 – Tarbes to La Pierre-Saint-Martin

Bonjour! Stage 10 on Bastille Day, was the first of three days in the Pyrenees, following a great course through the foothills, up into the mountains and finishing with a testing climb. The dazzling performance of the day came from Chris Froome, who broke away with 6km to go and left everyone behind, almost dancing on the bike up to the finish. This was an astounding performance, securing the King of the Mountains jersey as well as retaining Yellow. He won on Bastille day the year he won the Tour, perhaps too soon to assume that history will repeat itself, but we’ll see. This win was one to relish!
Here are my drawings:

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Tour de France 2014: Stage 17 – Saint-Gaudens to Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet

Bonjour! Stage17 saw the second day in the Pyrenees. Another hard stage with great climbs and descents. The race lead passed through several hands over the course of the stage, including a great spell by Kiriyenka of team Sky. Romain Bardet handled the descents with alarming grace but the win came again for Rafal Majka, King of the Mountains. Yellow jersey stays on the back of the amazing Nibali. 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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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