Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting How did they get that up there? Lacets de Montvernier, Stage 18, by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 18 – Gap to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

Bonjour! Stage 18 was arguably the best this year. As a course, it had everything. It was a long stage which began on the flat, ascended several hard climbs, some 1:10, with descents to match! The climax came at the the end, where the course followed the most remarkable road known as the Lacets de Montvernier, the ‘shoe laces’ which has 17 turns on its path up the sheer mountain face. People were perched on the top waiting for the riders. Simply amazing! It was an incredible race for the key players and delight for the French fans, who had the stage winner in Romain…

Enough, Tejay, Stage 17, by Maxine Dodd

Tour de France 2015: Stage 17 – Digne-les-Bains to Pra Loup

Bonjour! Stage 17 followed the rest day and marked the beginning of the final section of this year’s Tour. It was the first of four gruelling days in the Alps, with all that goes with them; dramatic scenery, gut-wrenching climbs, toe-curling descents and roads strewn round the mountains like ribbons. This stage cruelly claimed Tejay van Garderen, the American rider, in third place at the start, but he broke down and could go no further. By complete contrast, the wonderfully-bearded Simon Geschke, claimed his first Tour stage win, brilliantly climbing and descending to the finish. In the race within the race, there was…