Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Eagerly Awaiting the Start of the Tour

I am pulling together all of the information that I need to write the blog post for the coming 2016 Tour de France.  I have just finished going through the Le Tour website and logging all of the stages, profile maps, distances, climbs and sprint towns, complete with how many kilometers left to race at each climb or sprint.  I am awaiting the assigning of bib numbers and final confirmation of who will be representing each team at the Grand Depart at Mont Saint Michele.

Be sure to check back for my paintings and blog post of every stage of the Tour, everyday that wheels roll on the Grand Boucle.

All of the paintings will be painted in real time (or as close to real time as possible) without knowing the results of each day of racing.  The artwork will be created using ink and Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors (available at www.richesonart.com).  After I have posted the art here on this blog, the work will be available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  I will provide a direct link to each painting at the end of each co-responding post.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dauphine, Final Stage: Sprinting for Second

Both Dan Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) were fighting it out for second place.  Oddly, both succeed.  Martin got the second place on the stage and the six bonus seconds moved him in to third overall for the 68th Criterium du Dauphine.  Bardet missed second on the stage but his time and the two second bonus put him into second overall.  Ever vigilant Team Sky was represented by Wouter Poels who finished fourth on the stage, but it may be argued that he, Sergio Henao, Mikel Landa and Chris Froome boxed in Richie Porte (BMC) to ensure that he couldn't overtake Froome in the closing meters of the day (although gaining six seconds and a time bonus was highly unlikely).  In the end, no harm no foul, and it most likely was completely innocent.  But in the words of some NASCAR driver, "That's racing."

This will do it for me until the start of the Tour de France in just 19 days.  Now it is time to focus on some other projects.  See you in July!

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson & Company.  This painting, along with all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  While you are on the site, be sure to check out my other works of art and my two cycling books.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Bear in mind that this is a one of a kind original and once it is gone, it is gone.

Be sure to check out my second cycling art book, Art of Cycling: Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships, available online or through your local book seller.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Criterium%20du%20Dauphine/2807395-84-185083/Painting.html#.V12qn_krLIU

Dauphine, Final Stage: Thumbs Up!

When asked about the oft ill fated break aways, Jens Voigt responded, "If you go in the break you have about a 10% chance of winning, if you don't go it is 0%."  Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data) was all smiles and celebratory gestures as his gamble paid off.  Cummings knew that all of the GC contenders would be busy watching each other, and their teams would be working to secure on improve their leaders positions.  Likewise the stage was far to lumpy for any sprinters to use their teams to chase down any break aways, so it was a perfect stage to go for a long solo effort.  And boy, oh boy, was his effort a long one, he went off the front on his own with just over 50 kilometers left to race!  In the end, he finished just under four minutes ahead of those who wanted to stand on the final podium.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson & Company.  This painting, along with all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  While you are on the site, be sure to check out my other works of art and my two cycling books.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Bear in mind that this is a one of a kind original and once it is gone, it is gone.

Be sure to check out my second cycling art book, Art of Cycling: Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships, available online or through your local book seller.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Criterium%20du%20Dauphine/2807386-83-185083/Painting.html#.V12livkrLIU

Dauphine, Final Stage: Attack, Counter, Attack

The descent off of the Col du Noyer was like a heavy weight prize fight, each man hitting out at the other in hopes of delivering a knock out blow.  First it was Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) trying to use his descending skills to get a gap.  Then it was Chris Froome (Sky) attacking to show that he was up to the challenge of defending his Maillot Jaune.  And now it was Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) trying to get a jump on the others, perhaps sensing that the others were beginning to tire.  Only Richie Porte (BMC) seemed to have nothing to offer in the boxing match.  You can tell by the body language of Froome, he wasn't about to let Bardet's attack succeed.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson & Company.  This painting, along with all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  While you are on the site, be sure to check out my other works of art and my two cycling books.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Bear in mind that this is a one of a kind original and once it is gone, it is gone.

Be sure to check out my second cycling art book, Art of Cycling: Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships, available online or through your local book seller.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Criterium%20du%20Dauphine/2807383-82-185083/Painting.html#.V12f2_krLIU

Dauphine, Final Stage: Froome's Answer

Alberto Contador's (Tinkoff) attack of the main contenders on the ascent of the Col du Noyer gain him a few seconds to begin with, but Chris Froome (Sky) had the answer.  Froome was isolated by Contador's efforts, but he still had the legs to go around the former holder of the Maillot Jaune.  Richie Porte (BMC) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) were distanced by the attacks, but they are quickly pulling themselves back into contention.  It is beginning to feel like there may be no way to upset the very top slot of the General Classification.  There is still one climb left in this year's Dauphine and the finish is at its summit.  At this point it isn't looking like all of the efforts of Etixx-Quickstep are going to pay any dividends.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson & Company.  This painting, along with all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  While you are on the site, be sure to check out my other works of art and my two cycling books.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Bear in mind that this is a one of a kind original and once it is gone, it is gone.

Be sure to check out my second cycling art book, Art of Cycling: Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships, available online or through your local book seller.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Criterium%20du%20Dauphine/2807374-81-185083/Painting.html#.V12ZrfkrLIU

Dauphine, Final Stage: Here We Go Now

If any of the contenders wanted to take the Yellow Jersey away from Chris Froome (Sky) they were going to have to attack on the penultimate climb up the Col du Noyer.  Etixx-Quickstep had been laying the ground work across the valley before turning onto the mountain road, but it was Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) who was the first to strike out in hopes of reclaiming his leader's jersey that he put on after the Prologue.  The first to try to go with the Spaniard was Pierre Rolland (Cannondale), but he just doesn't have Contador's explosive climbing abilities.  Etixx-Quickstep didn't panic, they just kept on keeping on.  Froome didn't react immediately either, but then that is the metronome style of Team Sky.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson & Company.  This painting, along with all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  While you are on the site, be sure to check out my other works of art and my two cycling books.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Bear in mind that this is a one of a kind original and once it is gone, it is gone.

Be sure to check out my second cycling art book, Art of Cycling: Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships, available online or through your local book seller.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Criterium%20du%20Dauphine/2807371-80-185083/Painting.html#.V12V6fkrLIU

Dauphine, Final Stage: All Strung Out

You don't need a speedometer to tell when the peloton is going full speed, you just have to look at its shape.  When it is in a long thin line, it means the guys on the front are hammering!  Etixx-Quickstep went into the final stage with a plan.  The team had Dan Martin sitting fourth overall, and Julian Alaphilippe was sixth while wearing the White Jersey of best young rider.  With both riders less than a minute down on the Maillot Juane of Chris Froome (Sky), they were doing their best to weaken Team Sky and the others that sat before them on the General Classification.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson & Company.  This painting, along with all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  While you are on the site, be sure to check out my other works of art and my two cycling books.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Bear in mind that this is a one of a kind original and once it is gone, it is gone.

Be sure to check out my second cycling art book, Art of Cycling: Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships, available online or through your local book seller.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Criterium%20du%20Dauphine/2807368-79-185083/Painting.html#.V12R7vkrLIU

Dauphine, Final Stage: Fast & Efficient

Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data) traded his normal back of the peloton hang out for being way off the front today.  Cummings has been seeking a stage win all week and saw today as the day the leaders would watch each other and perhaps ignore a solo attack.  The Brit went off on his own with over 50 kilometers left to race.  Fortunately for him, he read the race correctly, given how far down in the General Classification he was, no one in the top ten was interested in putting in a serious chase. They were far more concerned about each other.

Cummings is using the rather precarious "super tuck" to make himself as aerodynamic as possible.  This seems really dicey to me, but I don't spend anywhere near the time in the saddle that these guys do.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson & Company.  This painting, along with all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  While you are on the site, be sure to check out my other works of art and my two cycling books.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Bear in mind that this is a one of a kind original and once it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Criterium%20du%20Dauphine/2807365-78-185083/Painting.html#.V12O-PkrLIU

Dauphine, Stage 6: Everything He Had

The title of this work can apply to either Frenchman in the painting.  Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) and his team had put everything into taking the stage with the possible side benefit of pulling on the leader's Maillot Jaune.  Unfortunately, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) was able to hold onto every attack his countryman launched and ultimately, he claimed the stage as well.  To add insult to energy, Chris Froome (Sky) closed enough on the final climb to keep his Yellow Jersey even if Bardet had claimed the full ten second time bonus by taking the stage.  Bardet could consul himself knowing that he was now tied for second place just seven seconds down on the leader of Team Sky.  With just seconds separating the top five placings the stage is set for some very exciting racing on the final stage of this running of the Criterium du Dauphine!

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson & Company.  This painting, along with all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  While you are on the site, be sure to check out my other works of art and my two cycling books.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Bear in mind that this is a one of a kind original and once it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Criterium%20du%20Dauphine/2807227-77-185083/Painting.html#.V1z1CPkrLIU

Dauphine, Stage 6: A Very Elite Group

Giving chase to the only two that were still up the road gaining time was a very elite group, a veritable whose who in the 2016 ProTour.  While the threesome on Team Sky was on the front, followed by the duo from BMC were Alperto Contador (Tinkoff) the rest of this prestigious group included Dan Martin & Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quickstep), Diego Rosa (Astana), Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) and Pierre Rolland (Cannondale).  Ironically, both Navarro and Rolland lost the wheels of the group as soon as I completed this painting.  Apparently, Team Sky was upping the ante to be in this elite group.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson & Company.  This painting, along with all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  While you are on the site, be sure to check out my other works of art and my two cycling books.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Bear in mind that this is a one of a kind original and once it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Criterium%20du%20Dauphine/2807224-76-185083/Painting.html#.V1zxYPkrLIU