Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book de Tour

All of my posts about the 101st Tour de France will be collected into this unique visual treasury.  The book is currently in its crowd funding stage seeking support from you my blog readers.  I hope you will consider pledging your support so that all of the art and annotations can become the Book de Tour.  As I have said repetitively, there are some great Backer Rewards for those who choose to become part of bringing the most unusual Tour to print.  Rewards begin at only $5 USD and international shipping is available.  Other rewards include and artist signed copy of the book, original art, and even a few copies of the book that will be signed by Vincenzo Nibali.  Anyone who pledges their support will have their name in print included on the Special Thanks page regardless of the amount pledged.  Yes that means that if you pledge as little as $1 your name will be immortalized in this unique visual treasury of this most unique Tour de France.  All of the annotations are in English (as is this blog) but a picture tells a story without regard to the viewers native tongue. 

I could use your help in getting this project fully funded.  With just 4 days left to go in the crowd funding campaign, I am at 50% of my goal.  The way Kickstarter works, if you do not get 100% funded, then you get none of the monies pledged.  So if you pledge your support, and we don't make our goal then Backers will not be charged a single penny.  If we do make the goal, your pledge will be collected and you will receive the reward you have chosen in early November.

Here is the direct link to the Kickstarter campaign: 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour

Monday, July 28, 2014

La Course: The First to Cross the Line

The inaugural running of La Course, the first women's bike race on the Champs Elysees, was mounted by the organizers of the Tour de France.  With the unpredictability of the 101st Tour de France, it somehow seems appropriate that this was the year that the Tour finally let the women race.  It was equally appropriate that the Women's World Road Racing Champion, Marianne Vos (Rabobank) was the first women to cross the line to win a race under the shadow of the L'Arc de Triomphe, maybe even more so that they opened up the sprint under the gaze of the statue of Joan d'Arc.  Vos just got around the fading sprint of Kirsten Wild (Giant Shimano), fortunately for Marcel Kittel (Giant Shimano) her sprint was not a foreshadowing of how he would fare in a couple of hours. This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The work, and the race, will be included in my soon to be self published art of cycling book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to become part of bringing the book to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have a copy of the "Book de Tour" as well?  Of course you would!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409570---199992/Painting.html#.U9cVpsvD_IU

La Course: Driving Hard

The racing was hard and fast in the La Course, the accessible coverage in the United States was woefully lacking.  I felt like I was trying to watch the Tour de France in the seventies before cable or the internet.  So I apologize for not being able to give you the names of these women, or even the teams they are riding for.  But they brought the same level of racing to the Champs Elysees that would be witness in a few hours after their cash prizes and trophies had been rewarded.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The work, and the race, will be included in my soon to be self published art of cycling book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to become part of bringing the book to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have a copy of the "Book de Tour" as well?  Of course you would!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409562---199992/Painting.html#.U9cR_cvD_IU

La Course: Slipping Off the Front

The morning that the Tour de France was to come into Paris to finish on the Champs Elysees, the organizer mounted the first ever Women's Road Cycling event on the fabled cobbles.  La Course brought the best professional women to race 11 laps around the same finishing circuit that would end the 101st Tour de France, the men would only make 8 laps of the circuit.  While TV coverage of the event was not on par with the men's racing, the racing was every bit as fast and as exciting.  This is the French National Road Champion, Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabobank) in the break along the gutter of the boulevard with Amy Pieters (Giant Shimano).  Just like the men later in the day, there were a number of break away attempts each chased down by the teams of the sprinters.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The work, and the race, will be included in my soon to be self published art of cycling book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to become part of bringing the book to print, please visit  kickstarter.com/projects/13350

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tour Final Stage: Safely Home

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) safely crossed the line in the peloton, the rider who had barely put a pedal wrong through the 21 days of the Tour de France had successfully negotiated the final obstacle, the pave of the Champs Elysees, to achieving his dominate win of the Tour de France.  He now joins a very short list of Italians who have won the Tour, and a only slightly longer list of those who have won all three of the Grand Tours.  There are many who discredit his win, claiming that if those who had crashed out were here, then things would have been different.  But the Tour de France is a hard race that must be survived as well as raced.  Nibali stayed upright, other did not, Nibali was fast up the mountains, others were not, and Nibali flew around the final Time Trial, and yet again others did not.  So it is with great relief that he was shepherded across the final finishing line in Paris by his teammates, with the Maillot Jaune firmly on his shoulders.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting along with all of my artwork of the 101st Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published tome, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bringing this Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous rewards for those who choose to back the book, including artist signed copies, original art, printed postcards and even a few copies signed by Vincenzo Nibali himself.  Everyone who contributes will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have all of the paintings in a book as well?  Sure you would!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409046---199992/Painting.html#.U9W2Z8vD_IU

Tour Final Stage: Leaving It Off Where He Picked Up

Marcel Kittel (Giant Shimano) started this Tour de France by winning the opening stage into Harrogate in the United Kingdom, a win that follow his win in the last stage of the 2013 Tour de France.  The German fast man was able to round out his Tour by winning the final stage, bookending his wins and showing that he is the current fast man of the peloton.  He did pick up some other wins in the middle, but like all sprinters the win on the Champs Elysees is the one that is treasured.  Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was all the way down in 9th place on the stage, but then he had already achieved his goal of claiming the Green Jersey of points leader.  Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol), Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin Sharp) and Daniele Bennati (Saxo Tinkoff) rounded out the top five under the eyes of thousands of fans that lined the famous boulevard.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting along with all of my artwork of the 101st Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published tome, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bringing this Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous rewards for those who choose to back the book, including artist signed copies, original art, printed postcards and even a few copies signed by Vincenzo Nibali himself.  Everyone who contributes will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have all of the paintings in a book as well?  Sure you would!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409042---199992/Painting.html#.U9WzQsvD_IU

Tour Final Stage: Surprising Them All

The final man to have a go at going it alone was Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge).  He was a surprise and pulled of the move on the bell lap.  His attack send confusion through the ranks of the sprinter's teams and their lead out trains.  No one should have the power to ride away from the peloton when the lead out trains are at full gas just five kilometers from the line.  And yet, here is Clarke getting about ten seconds on them all as he starts back down the Champs Elysees.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting along with all of my artwork of the 101st Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published tome, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bringing this Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous rewards for those who choose to back the book, including artist signed copies, original art, printed postcards and even a few copies signed by Vincenzo Nibali himself.  Everyone who contributes will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have all of the paintings in a book as well?  Sure you would!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409040---199992/Painting.html#.U9Wu58vD_IU

Tour Final Stage: On His Wheel

As Richie Porte (Team Sky) and the peloton swung up out of the tunnel under the Tuileries and around 'Norwegian Corner' they slide under the one kilometer to go banner (although at this point it is one kilometer to the bell lap) the peloton was just about to get onto the wheel of Porte.  Normally the Flame Rouge or Red Kite wouldn't be hanging until it was one kilometer left to race, but with the speed they were turning the laps, there simply wasn't enough time to hang the kite on the proper lap.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting along with all of my artwork of the 101st Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published tome, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bringing this Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous rewards for those who choose to back the book, including artist signed copies, original art, printed postcards and even a few copies signed by Vincenzo Nibali himself.  Everyone who contributes will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have all of the paintings in a book as well?  Sure you would!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409038---199992/Painting.html#.U9Ws6svD_IU

Tour Final Stage: He Belives He Can Do It

Richie Porte and Team Sky got to the final stage of the 101st Tour de France with something to prove.  Ever since the abandonment of Chris Froome in stage 5, the team hasn't had much to show for themselves.  Porte wasn't able to handle the mountains or maybe it was the mountains of pressure and quickly dropped down to 19th overall.  Today, he saw a chance to show just how strong of a rider he is, and went out on a solo run for the line with two laps to go.  While he was the third rider to make a solo attack, he had waited for a manageable distance in which to hold off the sprinters.  Team Sky has won the last two Tours de France, with two different riders, and it has been strange to not see the distinctive black kit with the bright blue striping on the front of the peloton day after day.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting along with all of my artwork of the 101st Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published tome, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bringing this Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous rewards for those who choose to back the book, including artist signed copies, original art, printed postcards and even a few copies signed by Vincenzo Nibali himself.  Everyone who contributes will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have all of the paintings in a book as well?  Sure you would!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409034---199992/Painting.html#.U9Wp9cvD_IU

Tour Final Stage: Go, Tony, Go!

It is never a good time to have a mechanical, but when the peloton is winding it up for the sprint, it really sucks.  The World Time Trial Champion, Tony Martin (OPQS) got a quick bike change and a hard push from his mechanic, but it would take all of his expertise to catch back on to the peloton.  Unlike Peraud, no one dropped back to help Martin, but then he wasn't in danger of losing a podium position.  Instead he was here to work for Omega Pharma Quickstep's back up sprinter, Mark Renshawk, so he was needed but he isn't a "protected rider."  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting along with all of my artwork of the 101st Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published tome, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bringing this Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous rewards for those who choose to back the book, including artist signed copies, original art, printed postcards and even a few copies signed by Vincenzo Nibali himself.  Everyone who contributes will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have all of the paintings in a book as well?  Sure you would!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409030---199992/Painting.html#.U9WncMvD_IU