Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tour Down Under Final Stage: A Final Salute

On the penultimate lap of the final stage of the Tour Down Under a rather large pile up took out a number of members of the peloton, many others were so slowed down that they were never going to see the front end of the race again.  One of those caught out was the celebrated sprinter, Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin).  But not to discredit the powerful fast men that made it to the line, it was Wooter Wippert (Drapac) the lone Dane riding for an Australian team, who threw his arms up in victory on the streets of Adelaide.  Daryl Impey's 5th place finish secured his Points Jersey, and with Rohan Dennis and Cadel Evans (BMC) both managing to be ahead of the crash, Dennis won the 2015 Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans claimed a podium position in his last ProTour race.  Jack Bobridge proved that his efforts on the first ascent of Willunga Hill was enough to win the King of the Mountains Jersey.

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, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  If you have enjoyed reading this coverage of the Tour Down Under, be sure to check out my new book, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  You can order your copy from the publisher's website here, http://www.dementimilestonepublishing.com/#!book-de-tour/c1nth

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20Down%20Under%202014/2501692---194179/Painting.html#.VMSrd9g5DIU

Tour Down Under Final Stage: Swinging Around the Final Bend

As the lead out men hit the final bend of the 2015 Tour Down Under, it was all about speed and position.  Matthew Haymen was on the front leading out the points leader and his man, Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge).  He was brushing shoulders with the other men working for their sprinters, each trying to deliver their man to the line in the best possible position.  The new variation on the course ensured that the peloton would be flying off of the small climb and hitting the line at speeds topping out at 80 kilometers per hour.  Much faster than any car can hope to go on the downtown streets of Adelaide on any weekday.

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, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  If you have enjoyed reading this coverage of the Tour Down Under, be sure to check out my new book, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  You can order your copy from the publisher's website here, http://www.dementimilestonepublishing.com/#!book-de-tour/c1nth

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20Down%20Under%202014/2501690---194179/Painting.html#.VMSnvNg5DIU

Tour Down Under Final Stage: Whipping Up the Pace

With the second break of the day building up a minute and a half, if the sprinters wanted any chance of taking the victory in the final stage of the Tour Down Under they were going to have to whip up the pace and pull those guys back.  So it was that Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida) along with others came to the front for his man, Niccolo Bonifazio.  The peloton was hitting sustained speeds of 52 kilometers per hour and yet it took several laps to pull the strong men in the break back into the fold.

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, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  If you have enjoyed reading this coverage of the Tour Down Under, be sure to check out my new book, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  You can order your copy from the publisher's website here, http://www.dementimilestonepublishing.com/#!book-de-tour/c1nth

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20Down%20Under%202014/2501688---194179/Painting.html#.VMSjqtg5DIU

Tour Down Under Final Stage: Less of a Threat

The first break away of the day was quickly brought back into the peloton, mainly because Orica-GreenEdge and Daryl Impey wanted to gain more points for his Sprinter's Jersey.  Once he had crossed the line almost ensuring his standing on the podium at the end of the Tour, this group slid off the front while the peloton regrouped.  While this is a strong group of riders, Peter Kennaugh (Sky), Lars Boom (Astana), Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal) Christopher Juul Jensen (Tinkoff Saxo) and Alex Howes (Cannondale Garmin), none of them represented a threat to any of the leader's jerseys.  With only the sprinters needing to chase the group down, they were in with a chance of taking the break all of the way to the line.

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, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  If you have enjoyed reading this coverage of the Tour Down Under, be sure to check out my new book, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  You can order your copy from the publisher's website here, http://www.dementimilestonepublishing.com/#!book-de-tour/c1nth

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20Down%20Under%202014/2501686---194179/Painting.html#.VMSg2dg5DIU

Tour Down Under Final Stage: Is There a Gap?

The peloton lined up for the final stage in downtown Adelaide, they were facing a 20 lap circuit races through the heart of the city.  While it looked to be a day for the sprinters, a small group managed to pry free of the peloton living in hope for a surprise ending of the day.  Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) looks back over his shoulder to see if he and his compatriots, Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r), Calvin Watson (Trek Factory Racing) and Nathan Hass (Cannondale-Garmin), have managed to shake the main bunch off of their wheels.

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, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  If you have enjoyed reading this coverage of the Tour Down Under, be sure to check out my new book, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  You can order your copy from the publisher's website here, http://www.dementimilestonepublishing.com/#!book-de-tour/c1nth

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20Down%20Under%202014/2501684---194179/Painting.html#.VMSeQ9g5DIU

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tour Down Under Stage 5: Owning the Hill

Richie Porte's (Sky) attack was enough to shed every other contender in this year's Tour Down Under.  He proved that he owns Willunga Hill, twice now riding everyone off of his wheel to take a solo bow at the top of the climb.  However, as in the 2014 running of the Tour Down Under, his victory on Willunga Hill was not enough to claim the over all lead in the race.  Rohan Dennis (BMC) was the last rider to lose the wheel of the climber from Tasmania, but still finished second on the climb, thus saving his Ochre Jersey with two seconds to spare.  Dennis' second place meant that he was the first man to start the Willunga Hill stage in Ochre and to still own the jersey at the end of the stage.  Cadel Evans (BMC) managed a 4th place finish dropping him into third overall, just behind Porte.  Also, Dennis' second place on the final climb, means that Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia) holds onto his King of the Mountain Jersey by just 2 points!

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, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Enjoying this way of learning about a professional ProTour race?  Then check out my new book, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  The book is available online world wide, and can be ordered from the publisher's website at http://www.dementimilestonepublishing.com/#!book-de-tour/c1nth.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20Down%20Under%202014/2501204---194179/Painting.html#.VMPgFtg5DIU

Tour Down Under Stage 5: On HIm Like a Rabbit

I always enjoy listening to Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett's coverage of professional cycling.  They are both so very knowledgeable and frequently use rather entertaining and descriptive phrases.  This title his how Paul Sherwen described how quickly Cadel Evans (BMC) jumped onto the rear wheel of the attacking Richie Porte (Sky).  Porte had pulled a similar move on Evans in the 2014 Tour Down Under on the very same climb.  This time Evans wasn't about to let the Tasmanian get away again.  The pair was quickly joined by race leader, Rohan Dennis (BMC) and the man sitting in third overall, Tom Dumolin (Giant-Alpecin).  Now it is a drag race to the top of the final climb of Willunga Hill with the Ochre Jersey on the line.  Possibly even the King of the Mountain Polka Dots, too.

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, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Enjoying this way of learning about a professional ProTour race?  Then check out my new book, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  The book is available online world wide, and can be ordered from the publisher's website at http://www.dementimilestonepublishing.com/#!book-de-tour/c1nth.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20Down%20Under%202014/2501200---194179/Painting.html#.VMPdXdg5DIU

Tour Down Under Stage 5: Counting Heads

After cresting the first ascent of Willunga Hill, Lars Boom (Astana) along with several teammates hit the front of the drastically reduced peloton to toughen up the race for his man, Luis Leon Sanchez.  Both men are new to Astana and are eager to show team management what they can do for the team in the first ProTour race of the 2015 calendar.  Showing that he is never one to miss a move, you can see the Ochre Jersey of race leader, Rohan Dennis (BMC) keeping a sharp eye on all of the tactics being deployed.

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, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Enjoying this way of learning about a professional ProTour race?  Then check out my new book, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  The book is available online world wide, and can be ordered from the publisher's website at http://www.dementimilestonepublishing.com/#!book-de-tour/c1nth.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20Down%20Under%202014/2501198---194179/Painting.html#.VMPa3tg5DIU

Tour Down Under Stage 5: Enjoying the Pain

It takes a certain kind of man (or woman) to be a successful professional cyclist.  One asset is the ability to embrace the pain of an all out effort, to almost enjoy the pain.  Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia) hit the bottom of Willunga Hill with just over a minute and a half on the chasing peloton.  If he could crest the top of the very steep climb ahead of the rest he should gain enough King of the Mountain points to lay claim to the KOM Polka Dot jersey on the final day of the Tour.  His only worry was Rohan Dennis (BMC) gaining any points on either ascent of the big climb of the Tour Down Under.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  If you enjoy reading about bike racing with the accompanying watercolors, please check out my new book, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It is available world wide and can be ordered from the publisher's website, http://www.dementimilestonepublishing.com/#!book-de-tour/c1nth.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20Down%20Under%202014/2501190---194179/Painting.html#.VMPYbdg5DIU

Tour Down Under Stage 5: Shake Hands & Sling 'Em

As they approached the first ascent of Willunga Hill, the three man break had already lost Jordan Kirby (Drapac) mainly due to the hard pace being set by Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia).  Bobridge has stated his intention to try for the Hour Record one week after the end of the Tour Down Under.  Today's stage was an excellent chance to both train for the attempt and to secure his King of the Mountains Jersey.  His compatriot, Gregory Henderson (Lotto Soudal) reached back to shake Bobridge's hand, as he too, realized he could no longer hold the pace.  Henderson's parting gesture included a Madison Sling, a hold over from the duo's days on the track.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  If you enjoy reading about bike racing with the accompanying watercolors, please check out my new book, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It is available world wide and can be ordered from the publisher's website, http://www.dementimilestonepublishing.com/#!book-de-tour/c1nth.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20Down%20Under%202014/2501188---194179/Painting.html#.VMPWR9g5DIU