Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tour Stage 16: Taking a Bow

Mick Rodgers (Tinkoff Saxo) came to the line in Bagneres-de-Luchon with enough of a lead to truly savor the moment.  It was the first Tour de France stage win for the Australian and he wasn't going to waste the chance to perform for the crowd, taking the time to bow to their applause.  Tinkoff Saxo has now claimed two of the mountain stage victories since their team leader, Alberto Contador, was forced to abandon the Tour with a broken leg.  The stage wins of his two lieutenants, Rafal Majka and Mick Rodgers, leaves everyone wondering what might have been.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This painting and all of my 101st Tour de France artwork will be included in my soon to be self published, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about my book project, to pre order your copy, or to learn more about helping to bring the art of cycling to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some great rewards for Backers including an artist signed copy of the book, original art, and some other treasures.  Reward levels start at just $5 USD and everyone who pledges at any amount will have their name included on the Special Thanks page of the book.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But don't you want a copy of the book, too?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2406752---199992/Painting.html#.U875Xs_D_IU

Tour Stage 16: Fighting All the Way

The hard attacks and the hard climb up the Port de Bales, but quite a few riders into jeopardy.  With Alejandro Valverde pulling the Yellow Jersey along with the FDJ duo of Thibaut Pinot and Arnold Jeannesson up and over the final climb many found their placings on the GC slipping away.  Pinot and Romain Bardet (AG2R) have been battling for the White Jersey of best young rider, starting the day separated by just 16 seconds.  With Pinot already a minute ahead on the road, Bardet fought with the mountain and his bike in hopes of being able to pull back the time on the way down the other side.  Pinot is not the descender that Bardet is.  Bardet had used the final descent on stage 15 to put time into his young countryman, and clung to the thought that he could do it again.  All of the struggling riders were enthusiastically encouraged by the flag waving, screaming photo taking fans that lined the top of the Haute Catagorie, all the more for the young Frenchman.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This painting and all of my 101st Tour de France artwork will be included in my soon to be self published, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about my book project, to pre order your copy, or to learn more about helping to bring the art of cycling to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some great rewards for Backers including an artist signed copy of the book, original art, and some other treasures.  Reward levels start at just $5 USD and everyone who pledges at any amount will have their name included on the Special Thanks page of the book.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But don't you want a copy of the book, too?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2406738---199992/Painting.html#.U871KM_D_IU

Tour Stage 16: Isolating the Yellow Jersey

The Tour de France brings out the most avid fans, many of whom will follow the race for days, camping out in RVs along the race route.  They can become a traveling city independent of the race entourage, who will line the roads of the big climbs with their satellite dishes turned to race coverage.  They will come out to cheer every rider on, from there heroes to the last guy struggling of the back.  Team Movistar came out of the rest day with a plan to break Astana's hold on the race and to try and put Vincenzo Nibali on the defense.  As they started up the final climb of the day they put man after man on the front.  It was the efforts of Benat Intxausti who shuck the last Astana support rider, Tanel Kangert.  Alejandro Valverde still had one more guy in reserve, the Frenchman John Gadret.  As Kangert cracked, Nibali looked over to thank his teammate for all of the effort on the long climb and the long stage.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website, www.greigleach.com.  This painting and all of my art of the 101st Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bring the 2014 edition of the Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some wonderful Backer Rewards starting as low as $5 USD, and at only $25 USD the reward includes an artist signed copy of the book.  Everyone who pledges their support will see their name in print on the Special Thanks page in "Book de Tour."  If you would like to purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But don't you want a copy of the book as well?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2406694---199992/Painting.html#.U87v5s_D_IU

Tour Stage 16: You Want to Keep That Up?

As this foursome climbed up the HC Category Port de Bales, both Europcar riders, Thomas Voeckler and Cyril Gautier, as well as Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida) kept attacking each other.  The older and perhaps calmer Mick Rodgers (Tinkoff Saxo) would ride back onto the wheel of whomever put in the most recent attack.  Finally, most likely annoyed with the efforts of the others, he went on his own attack.  Looking over his shoulder at the others he seemed to ask, "Are you sure you want to keep doing that?"  Rodgers had taken two stages in the most recent Giro d'Italia under similar circumstances, so he was confident in his ability to leave the others behind.  Voeckler had claimed victory the last two times the Tour finished at the base of the climb, so he wasn't lacking confidence either.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website, www.greigleach.com.  This painting and all of my art of the 101st Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bring the 2014 edition of the Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some wonderful Backer Rewards starting as low as $5 USD, and at only $25 USD the reward includes an artist signed copy of the book.  Everyone who pledges their support will see their name in print on the Special Thanks page in "Book de Tour."  If you would like to purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But don't you want a copy of the book as well?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2406686---199992/Painting.html#.U87s0s_D_IU

Tour Stage 16: Trying to Cover the Attack

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) was riding like a man possessed, repeatedly attacking his break away companions.  Hng not succeed in getting away on the Col des Ares, he picked up where he left off on the giant Port de Bales.  With the group now reduced to just Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida), Mick Rodgers (Tinkoff Saxo), the Spanish National Champion, Jon Izaguirre (Movistar) and his teammate, Cyril Gautier.  Not only was it tough for the rest to cover his attacks, the TV Moto was having a bit of a time capturing all of the moves and the whereabouts of those who had been dropped by the accelerations.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com and will be included in my soon to be self published art book of the 101st Tour de France, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can become involved in bringing this most unpredictable Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous incentives to encourage you to back the project starting a just $5 USD, and every backer, regardless of the amount pledge, will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  If you would like to purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have a copy of "Book de Tour" as well?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2406672---199992/Painting.html#.U87o5c_D_IU

Tour Stage 16: Dancing Up the Mountain

The longest stage of the Tour de France, 237.5 kilometers, feature five categorized climbs, the final a Haute Categorie monster.  Astana and the peloton was happy to let a large break away get up the road, they had no worries about the Maillot Jaune, as not one of the 21 riders in the break represented a threat to Vincenzo Nibali, or any of the top ten on GC tucked into the peloton.  The break was bound to fall apart once they got to the fourth climb of the day.  It was on the way up the Col des Ares that the attacking started, with the ever aggressive Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) being the first to try and dance away when the road pointed up.  Voeckler has won twice before in the finishing town of Bagneres-de-Luchon and was riding in hopes of making it a third in a row, a feat not accomplished since 1961.  Europcar was well position to make the move having put three men clad in dark green into the break.  So it was Voeckler along with Cyril Gautier (Europcar) on the front of the group joined by Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida) and Jan Bakelants (OPQS) as they toiled up the climb.  The break had built up an eleven minute lead on the disinterested peloton, so it was safe to assume they were racing for the stage victory.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com and will be included in my soon to be self published art book of the 101st Tour de France, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can become involved in bringing this most unpredictable Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous incentives to encourage you to back the project starting a just $5 USD, and every backer, regardless of the amount pledge, will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  If you would like to purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have a copy of "Book de Tour" as well?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2406660---199992/Painting.html#.U87l9s_D_IU

Tour Stage 16: Derrier de la Course

Life at the back of the peloton can be tough, it is often the place for the walking wounded, or in this case the riding wounded.  Ji Cheng (Giant Shimano) drops off the peloton to visit the race doctor in search of the magic spray that will keep him going.  With all of the ban substances, to prevent performance enhancing doping, it is difficult to manage pain, pain most often from tendonitis.  Cheng has been the man driving the front of the peloton for Giant Shimano and then disappearing after he has left all of his energy on the road.  He is joined at the back by the heartbreak kid, Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp). Having but so many kilometers into the break on the way into Nimes, he just was still too exhausted from that effort to be able to hold the wheels of the fast disappearing peloton.  With 21 stages over a 23 day period, riders have to be careful to not over do it one day for fear of having nothing left for the next.  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 is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com and will be included in my soon to be self published art book of the 101st Tour de France, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can become involved in bringing this most unpredictable Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous incentives to encourage you to back the project starting a just $5 USD, and every backer, regardless of the amount pledge, will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  If you would like to purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you like to have a copy of "Book de Tour" as well?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2406648-120-114-199992/Painting/Sports.html#.U87iHM_D_IU

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tour Stage 15: One for the Sprinters

Even with the TV announcers and myself rooting for the two men of the break away, it turned out to be the day for the sprinters that all had expected it to be.  Alexandrer Kristoff (Katusha) had the legs to best the rest and claim his second stage win and the third for the team.  He beat out Henrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) and the perpetual bridesmaid, Peter Sagan (Cannondale).  The others that stormed by Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp) also included, Mark Renshaw (OPQS) and Bryan Coquard (Europcar).  Bauer was so close to winning the stage ahead of the sprinters that he still managed tenth on the stage.  The poor guy collapse after crossing the line, dejected and exhausted for a long, long break that almost was.  Noticeably absent from the finale was the fast man for Giant Shimano, Marcel Kittel.  The painting will appear along with all of my 101st Tour de France paintings into my soon to be self published cycling art book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your own copy, or to discover how you can become involved in bringing the 2014 Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous incentives for those who choose to back this projects, rewards start at just $5 USD, and you can get an artist signed copy for only $25 USD, any amount contributed will get your name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book, even for just a $1 pledge.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but you know you want a copy of this visual treasure of the Tour, too.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405594---199992/Painting.html#.U8yPgsvD_IU

Tour Stage 15: Maybe, Just Maybe


Inside of the final kilometer of the run into Nimes, the break away of Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp) and Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) was still off of the front.  As long as the pair didn't play around with trying to be the one at the rear when it was time to sprint, they actually had a chance to get to the line before those at full flight behind got to the line.  This sport can be very cruel in the most widely varied ways, and this Tour seems to want to show us every one.  The duo had been off of the front of the race since the opening kilometers and where still out there with one half of one kilometer out of the entire 222 kilometer stage to go.  For them not to get to fight it out for the stage victory would just be too cruel.  But then it is a cruel and heartless sport, performed by men of great heart.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting will appear along with all of my 101st Tour de France paintings into my soon to be self published cycling art book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your own copy, or to discover how you can become involved in bringing the 2014 Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous incentives for those who choose to back this projects, rewards start at just $5 USD, and you can get an artist signed copy for only $25 USD, any amount contributed will get your name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book, even for just a $1 pledge.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but you know you want a copy of this visual treasure of the Tour, too.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405592---199992/Painting.html#.U8yLEcvD_IU

Tour Stage 15: Flurries of Attacks

The peloton had managed to stay together until the reached the edges of Nimes with the rather unusual exception that the two man break was still off of the front and seemingly not very willing to be caught.  As they swung around the traffic furniture, opportunistic riders kept trying their luck at getting away.  Niki Terpstra (OPQS) drove hard to catch up with Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff Saxo) as Peter Sagan (Cannondale) drove on the peloton in hopes of riding them all off of his wheel.  Sagan is still searching for his first stage win in this Tour although he has proven his ownership of the most consistent sprinter's Green Jersey having finished in the top five in all but the mountain top finish thus far.  Bennati had the misfortune of puncturing and had to pull off from his chance of a win.  With Bennati unable to continue Terpstra's chance were rather reduced.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting will appear along with all of my 101st Tour de France paintings into my soon to be self published cycling art book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your own copy, or to discover how you can become involved in bringing the 2014 Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous incentives for those who choose to back this projects, rewards start at just $5 USD, and you can get an artist signed copy for only $25 USD, any amount contributed will get your name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book, even for just a $1 pledge.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but you know you want a copy of this visual treasure of the Tour too.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405590---199992/Painting.html#.U8yHy8vD_IU