Sunday, March 29, 2015

And then this happened... Paris Roubaix Socks by DeFeet

And then this happened... These are the newest release of Aireator Socks by DeFeet adorned with a knitted interpretation of one of my paintings. The image comes from my painting of Niki Terpstra's (Etixx-Quickstep) powerful win of the 2014 Hell of the North.  To get your own pair of these fun socks just follow this link http://defeet.com/pc_product_detail.asp?key=32B4FE0497204EA898E5B2FBEBC93129.  They retail for $12.99 USD.

Yeah, every once and awhile, I just have to geek out about how this marriage of my twin passions is going.  I have always enjoyed the freedom that comes from being out on the open road on my bike, going back to my pre-teen days so very many years ago.  I still get that same thrill every time I clip into my pedals and strap on my helmet.  The only other thing (that I will mention here) that brings me that kind of joy is making art, and now I have found how to knit these twin passions together (pun intended). 

So follow the link above to get your pair of the first of five pairs of socks that DeFeet Socks and I will be creating together over the coming season.  And then follow this blog as I paint my way through the Spring Classics, the Grand Tours and finish up when the world rolls into my adoptive home town, Richmond, Virginia.  All of the paintings will appear here, and are offered for sale through my artist website at www.greigleach.com

Saturday, March 28, 2015

E3 Harelbeke: All Alone Now

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) continued the seasonal reversal of his team today.  He made the perfect strategical move with about four kilometers left to race.  It was becoming obvious that Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) didn't have much left in his legs, so after Zdenek Stybar (Etixx Quickstep) did a pull at the front, Thomas attack the duo from the back quickly getting a gap on the pair.  Stybar waited just that briefest of moments hoping that Sagan would take up the chase.  Once he could tell the Slovak didn't have the power to go, he did his best to catch the Brit, but to no avail.  Thomas road alone to the line claiming the first British victory in the history of the E3 Harelbeke.  His victory continued the great opening of the 2015 season for Team Sky after their most disappointing 2014 season marred by injury and illness.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2533376---195767/Painting.html#.VRZugvnF-xU

E3 Harelbeke: Any Chance?

Yohann Offredo (FDJ) who has been off the front and the back, dropped back to his team car for a little advice.  He needed to know if the gap to the three men off the front was possible to bridge.  Whether or not his director sportif actually believed it, he must have told Offredo that he could make the catch.  It was just a few minutes later that the French rider made a valiant albeit unsuccessful attempt to catch the escapees.  Once Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) crashed and his team dropped the chase, it was all over for the peloton.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2533370---195767/Painting.html#.VRZsaPnF-xU

E3 Harelbeke: Riding Away

Once these three crested the final berg of the race, they simply rode away from the rest of the remaining peloton.  This threesome of Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-Quickstep), Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) represented some very powerful cyclist.  Stybar is the current Czech National Champion, Sagan, the Slovak National Champion and Stannard is a former British National Champion.  All three possess the ability and the wit to claim victory today, although, Sagan is the defending champion wearing race bib number one.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2533368---195767/Painting.html#.VRZqnvnF-xU

E3 Harelbeke: Hittin 'em Hard

At the foot of the Kwarmond climb, it was Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL Jumbo) who jumped hard on the pedals opening up a small gap on Stijn Vandenbergh (Etixx-Quickstep) and his teammate, Zdenek Stybar.  Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) was just behind.  Vanmarcke's move allowed all four of these attentive riders to prize out a gap on the peloton.  Alas, the gap was closed down by Team Sky once over the summit of the berg.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2533366---195767/Painting.html#.VRZohPnF-xU

E3 Harelbeke: Dropping Off

The early break of four riders quickly became three as Sjoerd Van Ginnekin (Roompot) dropped off of the pace as they ascended the Kapelberg.  It was Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling) that lifted the pace on the climb, fortunately for them, Sean De Bie (Lotto Soudal) and Kristian Sbaragli (MTN-Qhubeka) were able to hold the Belgium rider's wheel.  The foursome had an avantage of four minutes on the peloton earlier in the race, but now it gap was only a minute between the two groups.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2533364---195767/Painting.html#.VRZmfPnF-xU

E3 Harelbeke: Holding on to the Tail

The combination of a large peloton and very narrow roads made for a very long line indeed.  As the riders approached each of the 17 cobbled bergs of E3 Harelbeke, the pace would be lifted by the domestiques to get their men into the best possible position before the narrow ascents the define racing in Flanders.  For those at the back like Marc Sarreau and William Bonnet of FDJ, it can look like a long, long way to the business end of the race.  The wide open flat farm lands can also provide few places to hide from the winds of March.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2533362---195767/Painting.html#.VRZkavnF-xU

E3 Harelbeke: Narrow Roads of Flanders

With April almost here, the ProTour dipped its wheels into the cobbles of Belgium for the first race of the season.  The Cobbled Classics make for hard racing, narrow roads and very tough sections of uneven road surfaces.  This year's E3 Harelbeke started without one of the big names of the Belgium cobbles, Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quickstep), he crashed out early in the season, suffering a broken collar bone.  Today another big name in the classics, Fabian Canellara (Trek Factory Racing) hit the pave, while he did get back on the bike and ride further, he eventually pulled out with two fractured vertabrae.  Team Sky came to the front to chase down the four man break, putting Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and Bernard Eisel on the front of the peloton.  BMC, Lotto NL Jumbo and Tinkoff Saxo waited in the wings ready to play their part in the drama of the day.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition this painting is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2533360---195767/Painting.html#.VRZil_nF-xU

Monday, March 23, 2015

Milano Sanremo: Out of the Fog

Daniel Loyd, announcing the race for BeIn Sports, referred to John Degenkolb's (Giant Alpecin) victory, as if he had emerged as if he had came out of the fog.  Degenkolb did start from quite away back, tucked onto the wheel of the powerful Spartacus, Fabian Canellara (Trek Factory Racing).  It was unusual not to see the very skilled lead out train of Giant Alpecin leaving their sprinter to freelance his sprint to the line in Sanremo.  The German sprinter managed to get around Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and hold off the charging Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge).  The pair finishing third and second respectfully.  Cancellara ended up in seventh place continuing his very long streak of finishing in the top ten of the longest of the Spring Classics.  It should be a very exciting clash on the cobbles in April.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting is 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.  The painting is only $50 USD and international shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about bike racing this way with the accompanying artwork please check out my recently published Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France.  The book is available through virtually every online bookseller.  So google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2531068---195767/Painting.html#.VRDYSvnF-xU

Milano Sanremo: Winding It Up

All of the valiant efforts to surprise the sprinters and their teams, yet again, came to naught.  As the peloton swung through the final turn having gone under the flame rouge, it was Katusha who hit the front for their sprinter, Alexander Kristoff.  Tucked onto the Norwegian's wheel were many of the other contenders including, Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge), Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and John Debenkolb (Giant Alpecin).  It seemed like it was going to be Kristoff's day with about 300 meters left of a very, very long day.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting is 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.  The painting is only $50 USD and international shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about bike racing this way with the accompanying artwork please check out my recently published Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France.  The book is available through virtually every online bookseller.  So google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2531066---195767/Painting.html#.VRDVi_nF-xU