Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 UCI Worlds: I Did It!

With enough time in hand to celebrate his surprise victory, Michal Kwiatkowski, made a meal of it.  First clasping his face in disbelief, then swinging his arms wide in victory.  He crossed the line reaching down to kiss the Polish flag emblazoned upon his jersey.  He was chased all the way to the line, with Simon Gerrans (Australia) claiming the silver and Alejandro Valverde (Spain) grabbing bronze for the second year running.  While Kwiatkowski is new to the Worlds, Valverde has been on the podium seven times now, just never on the top step.  Just slipping into fourth place was the Danish rider, Matti Breschel, who had started the attacks that led this group to the line almost together.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website, www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/2014%20World%20Championships/2443458---202544/Painting.html#.VCi5Tc_D_IU

2014 UCI Worlds: I Can Do This!

As he looked back over his shoulder with just over a kilometer to go this time, he could see a small group closing in.  And the peloton not far behind them.  He saw that former World Champion, Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) was leading, Cyril Gautier (France) and the two Spaniards, Roaquim Rodriquez and Alejandro Valverde, back towards his wheel.  With just about another 4 or 5 minutes of effort, Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland), must have been thinking, "I can do this!"  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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/2014%20World%20Championships/2443438---202544/Painting.html#.VCi1Ps_D_IU

2014 UCI Worlds: Taking a Peek at 5 K

Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland) put in a vicious attack on the penultimate climb of the day, quickly dropping all of the top riders in the world.  Peeking behind as he passed under the 5 kilometer to go banner, I am sure he was both surprised and delighted to see no one in sight.  While he didn't have much of an advantage, the bend in the road blocked the chasers from view heartening the young man from Poland.  Kwiatkowski is having a hell of a year wearing the White Jersey in the 101st Tour de France on multiple stages and now here he is off the front of the peloton with just five kilometers to a Rainbow Jersey.  This is a small watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  You can see more art and read more about Kwiatkowski in my soon to be released, "Book de Tour."  It is available through my website as well, just look for the "Gallery" Book de Tour.

2014 UCI Worlds: Leading Them Home

Just as in the professional teams, the national teams have both domestiques and designated team leaders, leaders who ride as protected riders.  Ion Izagirre (Spain) riding for the "home team", went to the front to chase down the breakaway for his teammates, Alejandro Valverde (who rides with him on the Movistar squad) and Joaquim Rodriquez.  Benefiting from his efforts, tucked in behind the strong man from the Basque countryside, were this year's winner of the Tour de France, Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) and the climbing sprinter, John Degenkolb (Germany).  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.  While you are there, why not take the time to browse all of the art that is on offer?  Remember, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/2014%20World%20Championships/2443426---202544/Painting.html#.VCivAM_D_IU

2014 UCI Worlds: Pushing Their Advantage

With Tony Martin (Germany) pulled back into the fold, it was time for this year's king of the breakaway, Alessandro De Marchi (Italy) to toss his hat into the ring.  Or perhaps his wheel into the wind?  De Marchi was quickly joined in the effort on the penultimate trip up the steep final climb on the 18 kilometer lap by Cyril Gautier (France) and Matti Breschel (Denmark).  The trio presented a serious threat to the peloton that was scrambling behind to get the chase organized.  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.  While you are there, be sure to check out my soon to be released, "Book de Tour."  It is a collection of my paintings and writings of the 101st Tour de France, a race and a book were De Marchi is well represented.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/2014%20World%20Championships/2443420---202544/Painting.html#.VCiry8_D_IU

2014 UCI Worlds: What's the Gap?

Tony Martin (Germany) fresh from his disappointment in the Men's Elite Time Trial - he only managed to finish second - decided to be the next one to attack the peloton.  With his pedigree riding on his own, he has the legs and the skill to make his attack stick, and I am sure he would willingly trade his Time Trial Rainbow for a Road Racing one.  However, I am sure there are many who want the same honor, including others riding for Germany today.  So while he is peering behind to see just how much time he has put into the rest.  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.  While you are there, be sure to check out my soon to be released "Book de Tour."  It is a collection of my paintings and post of the 101st Tour de France, obviously, Tony Martin figures prominently on the 240 pages therein.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/2014%20World%20Championships/2443400---202544/Painting.html#.VCinXM_D_IU

2014 UCI Worlds: Splintering the Peloton

Once the early breakaway had been caught by the enlivened peloton, it was the hills and the rain that combined to splinter the pack.  That and the aggressive riding of Peter Kennaugh (United Kingdom) and Giovanni Visconti (Italy).  The pair decided it was time to open up the race, perhaps establish a break for their team leaders to bridge up to.  This is a small original art 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.  While you are there be sure to check out my soon to be release book of the 2014 Tour de France, "Book de Tour."   Visconti is one of the many riders in today's peloton that feature prominently in the book.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/2014%20World%20Championships/2443382---202544/Painting.html#.VCikQc_D_IU

2014 UCI Worlds: Zipping Through Down

The Elite Men's Road Race marks the completion of the UCI World Road Racing Championships and the seventh day of races.  With 14 laps of the 18.2 kilometer course, the men were facing a long day in the saddle covering 154 kilometers in roughly six and a half hours.  The first break away of the day was able to build up a fifteen minute advantage on the peloton.  A peloton that didn't feel like taking risks early on the rain soaked roads of north western Spain.  The early group contained C.J. Quintero (Colombia), M Kvasina (Croatia), O. Polivoda (Ukraine) and Z. Savicka (Lithuania).  While the foursome was hopeful, there was little chance that the big names of the sport would let them steel the day or the Rainbow Jersey.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson and Company, www.richesonart.com.  The painting, and all of my works from the UCI Worlds, are 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.  But while you are there, why not take the time to browse all of the art on offer?  International shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/2014%20World%20Championships/2443368---202544/Painting.html#.VCihD8_D_IU

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 UCI Worlds: Can You Confirm?

At the top of the final climb a group of favorites got away.  Marianne Vos, Emma Johannson, Lizzie Armstead and Lisa Brennauer, had gotten the gap that they needed to contest for the Rainbow Jersey and the other two steps for the podium.  However as the quartet got inside the final kilometer, they began to slow each not wanting to be on the front of the group (a position that is very difficult to win from).  As they wove back and forth across the road and hard charging group of 10 riders driven by two women from the German team tagged onto the leading group, I was left wondering why they had let the others back into the race.  I have seen this far to many times in the professional peloton.  The four had a seventy five percent chance of landing on the podium, with the gamesmanship, none finish even in the top five.  With so many coming to the line together, it wasn't clear who had taken the victory.  The UCI will lay a hand on the winner of every race, taking them directly to drug testing (just to insure they have raced clean).  Here the shepherds of Pauline Ferrnad-Prevot (France) used their radio to confirm that she is indeed the new Women's Road Racing World Champion.  Chapeau, Pauline!  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 (only $50 USD), just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/2014%20World%20Championships/2442636---202544/Painting.html#.VCcr1c_D_IU

2014 UCI Worlds: Digging In

Everyone had been waiting for the attacks to come, but it was not until the final climb of the Women's Elite Road Race did the aggression really come out.  The first to put in a serious attack was American Evelyn Stevens who had already claimed the bronze medal in the Elite Women's Time Trial.  Given her pedigree, Marianne Vos (Netherlands) and Lizzie Armistead (United Kingdom) were not about to let the American slip off the front.  The fourth rider in the line is Lisa Brennauer of Germany followed by the rest of the favorites to claim the Rainbow at the line.  This is a small 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/2014%20World%20Championships/2442598---202544/Painting.html#.VCcmCM_D_IU