Cascading Green was made from Stage 7 of 2014’s Tour. It was one of the longest stages and passed through some lovely towns and villages by the river Moselle. The peloton rode past this lovely house with tumbling bougainvillea and a cascade of green on the trees lining the road.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
Next, the rain! It’s lovely to draw, not so great to ride…
Bonjour! This was another lovely day’s racing through the Vosges mountains and the course was hilly enough to whet the appetite of climbing fans. There were plenty out to see the riders pass by – seemed to be a fair number of Brits today which was good to see. The story of the stage in a way, was a terrific win for Peter Sagan. Who was so delighted that he revived his ‘Incredible Hulk’ celebration from 2012 – one of the first times I drew him, not to mention my first year of drawing the Tour, full-stop. Takes you back doesn’t it?
Here are my pictures… click on an image to see it full size.
Hello! There was one talking point from Stage 4. The end of the stage and the end of the race both for Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan. I suspect the debate on the crash will last for a long time. Whatever your opinion, perhaps cycling fans can agree on one thing – that the race has lost two of its best and most exciting riders – and will be much the poorer for it. There are many photographs and videos of the incident, here’s my painting.
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:
Bonjour! Stage19 saw the beginning of the route home to Paris. The course travelled through the area of the Dordogne in pouring, pouring rain. So much rain! The visibility was so bad and the roads so slippery an accident felt more than likely to happen. It did, right at the last and it was a big one. Leading through most of the stage was TJ Slagter, but it was Ramunas Navardauskas from Lithuania who navigated past the carnage to take the stage win, brilliantly holding his lead against the chasing pack. Here are my drawings:
Bonjour! Stage18 was the third and final day in the Pyrenees. It was a decisive stage, with King of the Mountains and Green Jersey, not to mention Yellow, really set for this year. All they have to do is stay in the saddle until Sunday and all will be well! Nibali crossed the line with quiet authority after another incredible performance. Here are my drawings:
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:
Bonjour! Stage16 was the first day in the Pyrenees. The sun shone, the road rose high and the riders descended at breakneck speeds. Australian rider, Mick Rogers won his first stage after ten years of taking part in the Tour. Absolutely brilliant, he so deserved it and even crossed the winning line with a bow. Ripper! Here are my drawings: