The great race starts in Copenhagen – and the song is in my head! I am so looking forward to seeing the Tour start in Denmark – I have family connections, my grandfather being Danish born. The first stage is an individual time-trial, so here are a few images from TTs I’ve made in the past. Tadej Pogačar features here – and seems to be favourite again. Time will tell. The only thing you can predict surely, is that this race is undpredictable! Allez allez!
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…
Stage 20 – The final stage began in glorious sunshine, with greetings between teams, team-mates, opponents and champions. The stage ended with the most heart-stopping race around the Champs-Élysées. A magnificent stage win for Mark Cavendish, helped by the brilliant gentleman in yellow. Wiggins a worthy winner and champion and Britain’s first. Here are my last drawings of this momentous event.
Stage 19 – Today’s stage was all about time. Good weather, flat roads and every man against the crosswinds, the road and the clock. The fastest man came out last, wearing yellow, and struck home in one hour, four minutes and thirteen seconds. His team mate three minutes and twenty-one seconds behind him, his closest rival three minutes and thirty-eight seconds further behind. We’re holding our breath for Paris tomorrow. Here are some drawings
Stage 18 – The beginning of the end perhaps? A stage that wove through classic French countryside. There were castles, bridges and viaducts, fields and donkeys. However, all of these things were overshadowed by a great team supporting its world champion. The Missile exploded past everyone to take the win. What a man and what a team! Here are the day’s drawings
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 – 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 – 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 – 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