Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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?


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