Tour de France 2016: Stage 21 – Chantilly to Paris Champs-Élysées

Tour de France, art, cycling, Maxine Dodd

Bonjour! Stage 21, the triumphal ride into Paris! The sun came out – a relief after the past two days and there was the usual friendly handshakes and congratulations to the Yellow Jersey. Team Sky were in good mood, enjoying beer en route and all processed gracefully to Paris. The racing began on the Champs-Élysées. The win went to André Greipel like last year, but all the more sweet for him as a stage win had eluded him this Tour. Finally, the champions, Team Sky brought home their man, Chris Froome – a brilliant third win. Definitely time for a lie-down! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Tour de France 2016: Stage 20 – Megève to Morzine-Avoriaz

Tour de France, cycling, art, Maxine Dodd

Bonjour! Stage 20 The last Alpine stage and, nearly the end of the race! In some ways it was a continuation of yesterday – pouring rain, tough climbs and daring descents. The stage began with silence to remember the victims of the terror attack in Munich, so sadly, my dove appears again. There were brave rides by Alaphilippe, Pantano and Nibali but the outstanding descent came from Movistar’s Ion Izagirre, who took the stage win. It was fitting that Poels and Froome crossed the last mountain together, Froome riding on to win the whole race along with all his eight comrades from Team Sky. He is in the history books now with three wins to his name. Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Tour de France 2016: Stage 19 – Albertville to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc

Tour de France, cycling, art, Maxine Dodd

Bonjour! Stage 19 was an amazing stage. It had everything, from sunshine to torrential rain, from brave breakaways to individual brilliance. The Astana team went to the front, took a look around and just went for it! They led for much of the day. The rain came towards the end of the stage, changing everything, suddenly everyone was losing balance, some falling badly including Pierre Rolland and Chris Froome, the latter completing the stage on another borrowed bike. He was helped along the last painful metres by his team-mate, Wout Pouels. At the finish, one of cycling’s best descenders, Romain Bardet, stole a march on everyone and went on to win. Helter skelter!  Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Tour de France 2016: Stage 18 – Sallanches to Megève

Tour de France, art, Maxine Dodd

Bonjour! Stage 18 was the second time-trial of this year’s Tour. This one was an uphill course where time-trial specialist, Tom Dumoulin was expected to repeat his sparkling performance from Stage 13. He put in a great time which no-one could catch, until Chris Froome set out. At the first time-check he was in 5th place, ‘unusual for him’ said the commentator. At the second time-check, he had gained 14 seconds and was speeding up. After the descent,  he stormed home to victory, riding 21 seconds faster than Dumoulin. An incredible ride! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

La Vuelta 2014: Stage 1, Jerez de la Frontera

Maxine Dodd, painting Tinkoff Saxo cycling team

Hola! So good to be back to cycling for the last Grand Tour of the season, which takes us round beautiful Spain. Stage 1 took the form of a team time trial around the southern city of Jerez de la Frontera – a lovely evening stage showing all the teams to great advantage. and whetting the appetites of fans for three weeks of great racing. Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tour de France 2014: Stage 15 – Tallard to Nîmes

Bonjour! Stage15 was a long stage leaving the Alps and heading through the south of France towards the Pyrenees. The course passed through classic French countryside, but with crosswinds and storms at times, it was still a challenge for the riders. Two made an impressive breakaway lead by Martin Elmiger and Jack Bauer. At the end of the stage they were caught and passed by the head of the peloton – all sprinters – and there was nothing either man could do to assuage the onslaught! Amazing stuff – can’t wait for Stage 16! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tour de France 2014: Stage 14 – Grenoble to Risoul

Cycling art, Tour de France, watercolour pen and ink painting, Wind in his coat tails, Rafal Majka by Maxine Dodd

Bonjour! Stage14 continued in the Alps in a hard day’s climbing and an engrossing day’s racing.  The skies promised rain but didn’t deliver – instead riders worked hard in the sun. The race saw great performances from the AG2R team, Vincenzo Nibali, but the stage was won by up and coming climber, Rafal Majka, who crossed the line, jacket unzipped and flapping!  Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tour de France 2014: Stage 13 – Saint-Étienne to Chamrousse

Cycling art, Tour de France, watercolour pen and ink painting, Nibali by Maxine Dodd

Bonjour! Stage13 arrived in the Alps and passed through the city of Grenoble. Spectacular scenery, including the still snowy and very white, Mont Blanc. This was another hard stage with more riders abandoning or falling back. Steering a very confident course through much of the race was Alessandro De Marchio who forged ahead. Until that is, the brilliant Vincenzo Nibali burst past everyone in the final kilometres to take the win alone and in style. Vincenzo has worn the Yellow Jersey for many days and must be the favourite for Paris. Who can catch him? Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tour de France 2014: Stage 12 – Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Étienne

Cycling art, Tour de France, watercolour pen and ink painting, Across the line by Maxine Dodd

Bonjour! Stage12 continued the theme begun on Stage 11, hot sunshine, rolling countryside and beautiful chateaux. The announcement came that Andrew Talansky joined 4 other team leaders in retirement, but the race pressed on. French fans enjoying the progress of riders Cyril Gaultier and Perrig Quemeneur who brokeaway with Simon Clarke to lead for a great section of the stage. The sprint to the line saw Peter Sagan miss out on the win yet again – just beaten by Alexander Kristoff for the Russian team Katusha. And this was a ‘quiet’ stage! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tour de France 2014: Stage 10 – Mulhouse to La Planche des Belles Filles

Cycling art, Tour de France, watercolour pen and ink painting, Dappled sun by Maxine Dodd

Bonjour! Stage10, was absolutely amazing. Riders toiling into the mountains through sunshine, rain and fog for over 4 hours – only to be rewarded with the near vertical climb at La Planche des Belles Filles, the killer hill!  Contador sadly retired after an appalling fall. A brilliant ride by Rodriguez was outshone by Vincenzo Nibali who was first over the hill. A memorable Bastille Day! Thank goodness it’s a rest day tomorrow – we can all calm down a bit! See you on Wednesday – Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tour de France 2014: Stage 9 – Gérardmer to Mulhouse

Cycling art, Tour de France, watercolour pen and ink painting, Tony Gallopin by Maxine Dodd

Bonjour! Stage 9 was another exciting day, with sunshine, showers, arduous climbs and fast descents. It was also a tale of two Tonys, namely Martin and Gallopin. The two men delighted their fans with the stage win and yellow jersey respectively.  Tomorrow is Bastille Day and the Tour heads into the mountains proper. What could be better?  Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tour de France 2014: Stage 8 – Tomblaine to Gérardmer La Mauselaine

Cycling art, Tour de France, watercolour pen and ink painting, Up the hill, Kadri!! by Maxine Dodd

Bonjour! Stage 8 saw the first climbing section in France. Another mixed day of weather, the stage starting in good sunshine with riders looking relaxed and smiling. As the stage progressed and the land rose, down came the rain once again, putting everyone to the test. Nip and tuck all the way, there was delight for the French as Blel Kadri took the stage win. The battle for second nearly as exciting, with Nibali, Contador and Chavanel going for glory. Congratulations! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tour de France 2014: Stage 7 – Épernay to Nancy

SOLD - First past the sunflowers, by Maxine Dodd, SOLD

Bonjour! Stage 7 is one of the longest stages on this year’s Tour but passed through some lovely towns and villages by the great river Moselle. The weather was dry at last and for the most part, the stage passed uneventfully. Then came three dramatic crashes and a photo finish – never a dull moment! The stage was won in a hair’s breadth by Matteo Trentin.  Here are my drawings:

Cascading green

Cascading Green

Watercolour, pen and ink – Framed original

Tour de France 2014: Stage 6 – Arras to Reims

Bonjour! Today’s stage continued through the landscapes of the First World War – somehow appropriate that there was more rain and mud. More riders retired following falls. Still, the fans came out to support with towns and villages decked out in yellow and polka dots. The yellow jersey remained with Vincenzo Nibali; and after another dash to the line, a first stage win this year for Andre Greipel. A good day’s racing! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Cycling art, Tour de France, watercolour pen and ink painting, Triumph in the rain and mud, Lars Boom by Maxine Dodd

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tour de France 2014: Stage 2 – York to Sheffield

Cycling art, Tour de France, watercolour pen and ink painting, Close to Yellow by Maxine Dodd

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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:

Back to the bikes: Women’s Tour

Hello! I’m delighted to be drawing cycling for the first time this year. Even more delighted that it is the first Women’s Tour of Britain. My first drawings are from Stages 1 and 2 which were held in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Bedfordshire – not far from where I live, so a real thrill! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 7 – Almendralejo to Mairena de Aljafare

Hola! Stage 7 of La Vuelta turned south and crossed into the heat of Andalucia. Riders coped with temperatures touching 38 degrees as they left the countryside for the tree-lined town of Mairena de Aljarfare on the outskirts of Seville. The race was a much closer affair than Stage 6, with a nip and tuck race between the two leaders Gilbert and Stybar to the cross the finish. Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 6 – Guijuelo to Caceres

Bullish! Tony Martin, by Maxine Dodd, watercolour, pen and ink

Hola! Stage 6 of La Vuelta explored further inland, into the plains of bull-fighting country. Certainly the theme carried over into the race with an incredible performance by Tony Martin. As the world time-trial champion, he set a blistering pace and led the stage by a great distance for 170km. In spite of huge effort, the peloton could not keep up. The sting came at the finish where the riders finally caught and passed him as they crossed the line itself. Martin finished in seventh place. Cruel sport indeed… Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 5 – Sober, Lago De Sanabria

Hola! Stage 5 of La Vuelta turned away from the sea and travelled inland through rolling countryside, fields and pine trees. Orange roofs gave way to dark grey and for the first time in this race there was rain. Sunshine prevailed by the end as riders came into Lago de Sanabria to a sprinters’ finish! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 4 – Lalin, Estrada, Finisterre

Hola! Stage 4 of La Vuelta was a rolling course again taking in coastal scenery and pretty red-roofed houses. There was barely a flat road on the route but the test came with the climb to the Mirador de Ézaro. This was a test for everyone’s legs! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 3 Vigo – Mirador de Lobeira, Vilagarcía de Arousa

Hola! Stage 3 of La Vuelta was a twisting, turning route through the Galician coast and hills. Climbs not as tough as Stage 2, but strong crosswinds off the coast to contend with not to mention narrow roads and tight space over the bridge to the Illa de Arousa. The surprise finish came in the form of 41-year old Chris Horner,  who after 4 hours of riding, sprinted uphill to take the win like a teenager, giving hope to us all! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 2 Pontevedra – Baiona

Hola! Stage 2 of La Vuelta continued exploring the Atlantic coastline of Galicia with a dramatic climb from the coast road to the finish at Alto de Monte da Groba in Baiona. The day’s racing was led most of the stage by a breakaway of three riders but the stage was eventually won in style by Nicolas Roche. I confess that my eyes were distracted by the sea, with breakers and high hills – even a landlocked boat! Wonderful! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

La Vuelta 2013: Stage 1 Vilanova de Arousa – Sanxenxo

Sky cross the line, by Maxine Dodd

Hola! So good to be back in the saddle for the last Grand Tour of the season, which takes us round Spain. Stage 1 took place as a team time trial on the gorgeous north-west coast of Galicia. 22 teams began the race by crossing a glass pontoon at Vilanova de Arousa and riding their way by pine forests and vineyards until reaching the pretty beach town of Sanxenso. The stage was won by team Astana. A great start to three weeks of racing – Fantastic! Here are my drawings:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tour de France 2013: Stage 21 – Versailles to Paris Champs-Élysées

cycling art, tour de france

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:

Tour de France 2013: Stage 20 – Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz

cycling art

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.