Thursday, May 28, 2015

Giro Stage 18: A Puncheur's Punch

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) timed his attack to perfection.  His teammate, Amael Moinard, had attacked the remaining trio from the original breakaway.  As the threesome had used a burst of energy to catch the fleeing Frenchman, Gilbert jumped from the back of the group and went off on his own.  With about 15 kilometers left to the finish in Verbania it was a long way to go, but the former World Road Racing Champion still had the legs to make it stick.  He had the added advantage of having a teammate behind to chase down any effort to bridge across to his wheel.  After 14 stages producing 14 different stage winners, Gilbert's win makes the third man to claim a second stage in the 98th Giro d'Italia.

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,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560838---184157/Painting.html#.VWfcHc_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: Not Enjoying Their Own Medicine

Tinkoff Saxo and Alberto Contador got the opportunity to exact revenge on the pale blue boys of Team Astana today.  Try as they might, Tanel Kangert, Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa were unable to chase back onto the wheel of the Maglia Rosa.  It was a bit curious that Astana's Director Sportif called back Landa, to help assist Aru's chase.  With Landa starting the day 50 seconds ahead of his teammate, and obviously climbing better that the Italian in the Maglia Blanco, it seems that Astana's valuable asset should have been put to the aide of the man who had given the team two stage victories thus far.  I'm sure there were factors that I am unaware of, but the strategy left all three Astana riders losing time to Contador although Kangert is well out of the classification chase.

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,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560836---184157/Painting.html#.VWfbQM_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: Come On, Do a Bit of Work

First, it is truly amazing just how much stronger Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin) is getting in the final days of the 98th Giro d'Italia.  Today, the Canadian chased down Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) as the man in the Maglia Rosa was trying to put as much time into his rivals as possible.  Near the summit of the Monte Olongo, the duo caught up to Davide Villella (Cannondale Garmin).  As the now trio headed down the other side of the mountain, Hesjedal was frustrated that Contador would not pull through and do a bit of the work.  Contador had less to gain, but should have been willing to assist the Cannondale Garmin boys.  Contador could stretch his lead and Hesjedal was looking to move up a couple of places on the GC.  With the pair sharing rivals, it seemed to Hesjedal that they should be allies for the day.

It was a nice touch that this debate took place as they sped pass race fans who had taken the time to festoon the road with pink balloons and hand made decorations.  The Giro often feels like a big pink rolling party.

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,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560834---184157/Painting.html#.VWfacM_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: Quick Fix on the Fly

When a rider's luck is in, it is truly a fun thing to watch.  The day Contador had the ill timed flat, he ended up widening his advantage on the General Classification.  Today, having dropped everyone who tried to hold the Maglia Rosa's wheel, Contador dropped his chain when shifting to the smaller front chain ring.  He was lucky enough to be able to reach down and re-thread his chain and get back to the task at hand.  He was able to do this without having to stop.  His team car had pulled up behind with his mechanic jumping out while the car was still moving.  The mechanic first reached for a replacement bike, then realized that the problem had been fixed by the team leader on his own.  The mechanic barely had time to run up to Contador to give him a push before the Maglia Rosa was back to his distinctive, and effective, dancing on the pedals.

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,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560832---184157/Painting.html#.VWfZls_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: Turn About Is Fair Play

Two days ago, Astana attacked Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) when he had a flat tire on a mountainous descent.  It angered the Spaniard and went against the unwritten rule that no one attacks the race leader when they have had a mechanical, nor when they have crashed.  Contador felt misused and chased Fabio Aru down and then put several more minutes into his closest rival.  Today, when Astana's Aru and Mikel Landa (2nd and 3rd behind Contador) Tinkoff Saxo went to the front of the remaining peloton and really drove the pace.  As they started up the final climb, Contador was down to one teammate and only Steve Kruijswijk (LottoNL Jumbo) was able to hold the wheel of the dancing Maglia Rosa.  Kruijswijk his now wearing the Azure Blue of the King of the Mountains, the jersey he claimed the same day that Astana pulled its most aggressive move.

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,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560830---184157/Painting.html#.VWfYqs_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: They're Rid of the Others

Large breakaways tend to generate passengers (those not willing to do their share of time with their nose in the wind), so this group of five took off on the lower slopes of the Monte Olongo.  Leading the charge was David de La Cruz (Etixx Quickstep) he was joined by Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani CSF), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Sky) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC).  The twelve kilometer climb was the perfect chance for a good climber to gain an advantage, but the long descent town to the finishing town of Verbania was where the race could be won or lost.

The breakaway still had over 10 minutes on the trailing peloton, so these guys knew that the stage was one of their's for the taking.  The group must have been a little nervous being surrounded by the support vehicles, although with one driver having caused a wreck I am sure everyone was being extra careful.

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,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560828---184157/Painting.html#.VWfXrc_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: Traffic Jam

The narrow roads and the steep climb at the end of a long flat stage, combined with some very tired legs to cause another pile up of carbon, flesh and spandex.  A number of teams were caught out in the delay or like Team Sky, scrambling to provide their riders with enough replacement bikes to get back underway.  One rider wasn't able to get back on his bike, Stig Broeckx (Lotto Soudal).  The Ethiopian National Champion, Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre) took the opportunity to stretch out his back while he waited for the road to clear.  Other caught behind the log jam of bicycles included Fabio Aru and most of Astana, along with the current holder of the Red Sprinter's Jersey, Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing).  These delays are one of the reasons the GC men want to be near the front of the peloton, one never knows when the clock is going to count against you.

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,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560826---184157/Painting.html#.VWfWnc_BzGc

Giro Stage 18:Tending to the Aftermath

Roberto Ferrari (Lampre Merida) was one of the two victims of the run in with what was apparently a neutral service vehicle.  The details of what happen were rather sketchy, but the end result had Ferrari and Damiano Cunego (Nippo Vini Fantini) bloody and on the tarmac.  Ferrari was able to get back up and resume the stage, Cunego however saw his Giro come to an end.  The pair had been well place in a large breakaway that had gain the largest gap in the race thus far, leaving Cunego to wonder what might have been.  After he was back on the bike, Ferrari dropped back to the race doctor to get his wounds cleaned and a healthy dose of anti-bacterial spray.  Once he had been seen to, there was nothing to do but rejoin the peloton and hope for a better day tomorrow.

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,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560824-237-234-184157/Painting/Sports.html#.VWfVkc_BzGc

Giro Stage 17: A Perfect Delivery

This painting earned the title of "Bridget's Favorite" for stage 17.  Bridget is my wife of almost 35 years and it is her brilliance that got me to start painting my absolute favorite sport.  I race as an amateur way back in the 70's and have continued to ride longer distance ever since.  Having the opportunity to combine my two main passions of art making and cycling, is an unbelievable joy.

Lampre Merida delivered their sprinter, Sacha Modolo, to the final 200 meters with perfection.  While all of the other teams lost too many men on the sharp climb that crested with 4 kilometers to go, Lampre brought two men to lead out Modolo to the 2 kilometers of the flat approach to the finish.  While Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) was denied the stage victory, his second place at the line combined with his best of the rest at the last intermediate sprint was enough points to take over the Maglia Russo of the points jersey.  Luka Mezgec (Giant Alpecin) was left still searching for his first stage victory.

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, www.richesonart.com.  This painting, and all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD plus shipping, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is a one of a kind original painting, so don't delay.  When it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560572---184157/Painting.html#.VWappflViko

Giro Stage 17: Storming Home

First Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and then Luca Paolini (Katusha) stormed past Patrick Gretsch (AG2R) and Greg Henderson (Lotto Soudal).  Paolini's attack looked sure to succeed and had the announcers for BeIn Sports, Daniel Lloyd and Carlton Kirby, screaming with excitement.  The duo sped down the final 2 kilometer descent and then onto the final 2 kilometers of flat roads.  Perhaps if the two had worked together, they may have had a chance, but the organized teams of Giant-Alpecin, Trek Factory Racing and Lampre-Merida were in hot pursue of a stage win for their respective sprinters.

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, www.richesonart.com.  This painting, and all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD plus shipping, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is a one of a kind original painting, so don't delay.  When it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560570---184157/Painting.html#.VWalyvlViko