Sunday, March 12, 2017

Paris Nice, Final Stage: Anything Left?

This pair, David de la Cruz (Quickstep) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) had caught and dropped the flagging Marc Soler (Movistar) and came to the line together for the stage victory.  The vastly more experienced Contador had managed to get de la Cruz to lead the duo onto the final straightaway.  De la Cruz looked back over his shoulder and must have felt that Contador had nothing left for a sprint.  He was right.  De la Cruz took the win on the Promenade des Anglais and the ten second time bonus.  That left a six second bonus for Contador.  Unfortunately for the man who lost the race by four seconds last year, Contador, the Colombian, Sergio Henao (Sky) was able to pull back enough time to end the day holding onto the Maillot Jaune by TWO SECONDS.  In the post race interview, Contador seem almost non-plus about the results.  Perhaps it is his Spanish nature, or just having won every Grand Tour more than once, and this race twice in the past, he just knows what racing is all about.

Thge next race for my paint brushes will be the one day, Milan-San Remo.  So please check back next weekend.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2933009-379-195767/PaintingAnything%20Left?%20PN17-43.html

Paris Nice, Final Stage: Tete de la Course

Marc Soler (Movistar) decided to play the roll of spoiler on the final kilometers into Nice.  Ironically, after refusing to assist Contador in the chase earlier, he called unsuccessfully to get his two remaining escapees to aid in his efforts.  Being denied, he attacked near the summit of the Col d'Eze, taking the KOM points (which mattered little to everyone), and the bonus seconds at the final intermediate sprint.  The sprint bonus seconds hurt Contador's bid for Yellow, leaving him only two seconds gained in d'Eze.  Behind, the group containing the Yellow Jersey was slowly clawing back precious seconds on the three escapes.  Now they were racing for a stage victory and its bonus seconds.  Should Contador take the stage, the 10 bonus seconds, he would most likely be able to claim the final Maillot Jaune.  Right now, that was in the legs of Soler, but Contador had another rival with him, David de la Cruz (Quickstep).

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2932999-378-195767/PaintingTete%20de%20la%20Course%20PN17-42.html

Paris Nice, Final Stage: Chasing

With the surprise attack of the duo from Trek-Segafredo but the Maillot Jaune of Sergio Henao (Sky) into some serious jeopardy, in fact, at this point Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) was the virtual leader of the race on the road.  Henao had started with a 31 second buffer on the former winner of Paris Nice (and a great deal of other major races), so he need to be very aware of the time splits going forward.  And he needed to pay attention to any bonus seconds Contador may be able to pick up at the intermediate sprint or the finish.  Behind the Maillot Jaune, many were defending their positions and unwilling to assisted the Colombian.  On his wheel was the Basque Jon Izauirre (Bahrain Merida), the Maillot Vert of Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep) follow by yesterday's stage winner, Richie Porte (BMC) and Jakob Fulgsang (Astana).  In the distance you can make out the sole figures of other riders that were finding the final climb of Paris Nice just too, too much.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.


Paris Nice, Final Stage: The Fruit of His Labors

Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) had ridden hard in the 7th stage of the race and was rewarded with the Polka Dots of the King of the Mountain for his labors.  Not willing to wear the jersey for just one day (as Axel Domont (Ag2r La Mondiale) had prior to surrendering it to Calmejane), he got himself over the tops of the first four climbs on the day, thus ensuring that he will finished the day as the over all winner of the King of the Mountains once he crosses the line in Nice.  Calmejane had the advantage of being shepherded by the very experienced and successful Sylvain Chavanel.  Riding in this group at the start of the final climb, Col d'Eze were Julien El Fares (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) and surprisingly the sprinter, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida).

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2932974-376-195767/PaintingThe%20Fruit%20of%20His%20Labors%20PN17-40.html

Paris Nice, Final Stage: Do Some Work!

After sprinting away from the peloton with the help of his teammate, Jarlinson Pantano (Trek Segafredo), Alberto Contador quickly caught up with the large break away that was just up the road.  He was able to slip up to the front of the group and use them to slow down Sergio Henao's chase.  Contador started to get a bit frustrated as the break away simply jumped onto the Spaniard's wheel and didn't contribute to the effort.  He repeatedly turned around to gesture to those following to come forward and do a pull.  On his wheel was Marc Soler (Movistar) who wasn't about to help Contador put time into his team leader, and I doubt Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) had much to offer.  Finally, the UAE Abu Dhabi riders, Simone Petilli and Diego Ulissi came to the front to give a bit of a break to the gesticulating Spaniard.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2932896-375-195767/PaintingDo%20Some%20Work!%20%20PN17-39.html

Paris Nice, Final Stage: Hitting Hard

As soon as Philip Deignan (Sky) swung off of the front of the peloton were he was working for his team leader (and Yellow Jersey wearer), Sergio Henao, Jarlison Pantano (Trek-Segafredo) attacked the Maillot Jaune pulling his team leader Alberto Contador along.  The Trek-Segafredo duo seemed to be laying in wait for the moment to pounce.  Contador has a tradition of not waiting to the final climb of the day to go on the offensive.  Adding to that is the fact that he started the day 31 seconds behind the Colombian, Sergio Henao.  Riding on the wheel of the Yellow Jersey is Dan Martin (Quickstep).  He doesn't want to aid in the chase because he has a teammate up the road.  At this point he can afford to let Contador go, and worry about his over all placing as they get closer to Nice.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2932884-374-195767/PaintingHitting%20Hard%20PN17-38.html

Paris Nice, Final Stage: Opening Up a Gap


Even though there was a large break away up the road, these three decided that there just wasn't a hard enough pace in the peloton, so off they went in search of stage glory.  Up the road Lilian Calmejane (Direct Energie) was grabbing up all of the King of the Mountain points, by the summit of this climb he made sure that he would be the winner of the Polka Dot Jersey for the whole of this year's race.  All he has to do is make sure he finished along the coast in Nice.  The trio of David de la Cruz (Quickstep), Simone Petilli (UAE Abu Dhabi) and Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) used the upper slopes of the penultimate climb of the day, the Cote de Peille to simply ride the others off of their wheels.  Not only was this the penultimate climb of the day it was the same for the entire 75th Paris Nice.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2932872-373-195767/PaintingOpening%20Up%20a%20Gab%20PN17-37.html

Paris Nice, Stage 7: Evenly Matched

The two leaders of their respective teams found themselves riding shoulder to shoulder past the melting snow with just one kilometer left to race.  Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and the Colombian champion, Sergio Henao (Sky) seemed to be evenly matched, but out ridden by Richie Porte (BMC).  Henao was higher on the GC then Contador, so if the Spaniard wanted to take over the Maillot Jaune, he was going to have to attack the Colombian.  He did, but wasn't able to get enough of a gap to close the time difference.  With Alaphilippe down the mountain side, it was Henao that would be wearing the Maillot Jaune for the final stage into the streets of Nice.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2932591-372-195767/PaintingEvenly%20Matched%20PN17-36.html

Paris Nice, Stage 7: Something to Prove

The defending champion of Paris Nice had something to prove on the way to the highest summit ever in the Race to the Sun.  Richie Porte (BMC) had lost big chunks of time in the early stages of the race, so he had some honor to regain against those he left behind near the top of the Col de la Couillole.  He looks back over his shoulder and can see that Alberto Contado (Trek-Segafredo), Sergio Henao (Sky), Dan Martin (Quickstep) and Jakob Fulgsang (Astana) had all fanned out across the road.  None of them were willing to do the chase and drag the others back up to the front of the race.  For the record, Porte did prove that he had the legs to climb, and took the Queen's stage of the 75th Paris Nice.  But behind was the race for the Maillot Jaune.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2932589-371-195767/PaintingSomething%20to%20Prove%20PN17-35.html

Paris Nice, Stage 7: Trading in the Maillot Jaune

Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep) was unable to go with the big accelerations from the domestiques of Sergio Henao (Sky) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo).  He quickly lost contact with the main peloton and had his faithful assistant, David de la Cruz to help him limited his losses.  Alaphilippe could take some comfort from knowing that his teammate Dan Martin was still hanging tough with the heads of the climbing state.  He can find further comfort in realizing that while he may not keep the Maillot Jaune, he will be holding the Maillot Blanc since the next closes in that classification has already been dropped.  Joining the Quickstep duo, but not offering any assistance, were Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Diego Ulissi (UAE Abu Dhabi).  Ulissi had been on the front of the race at the bottom of the climb, but just couldn't hold onto the peloton as it sped past.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2932585-370-195767/PaintingTrading%20in%20the%20Maillot%20Jaune%20PN17-34.html