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

Tour Final Stage: Pulling Peraud Back

Panic must have gone through the hears of Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R), his team and all of France, when he lost his front wheel on the slick pavement markings and took out himself and several other riders.  Chaos ensued as team mechanic rushed around passing out wheels, bikes and bandages.  Peraud had crashed long before the all important 3 kilometers to go point, so any time he lost on the peloton would be applied to his overall time.  That meant he was in danger of losing his second place, something the team could let happen.  So while there was no team time trial in this Tour, AG2R ran a very fast one to get their man back into the peloton, screaming at the cars to give them room and let them do what needed to be done.  There efforts were rewarded, but there were some very anxious moments in Paris before he was tucked back into the fold.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com,  and it will be included in my soon to be 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 my art of the 101st Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some great Backer Rewards for those of you who choose to pledge your support starting at just $5 USD, and for $25 USD you will get an artist signed copy of the book.  Everyone who pledges regardless of the amount will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But you should also get all of the paintings in a book form, too. 

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409028---199992/Painting.html#.U9Wj78vD_IU

Tour Final Stage: Racing His Final Stage

Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) had announced that he was retiring after the Tour de France.  The 42 year old German has ridden in, and completed, 17 Tours de France, a most astonishing accomplishment.  When he was interviewed, he was asked if there would be any move by the peloton to honor him, giving him a lap on the front of the race, his response, "Honor in cycling is not given, it is earned," may well have been him telling us that he was planning to attack.  After Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) had been pulled back into the fold, Voigt went off of the front as he swung around the L'Arc de Triomphe.  The strong man may have been the one to make the audacious move stick, but again, the sprinters wanted there day in Paris.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This painting will be one of the complete collection of my paintings of the 101st Tour de France that will be included in my soon to be self published "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bringing the art of the Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some excellent incentives to encourage you to pledge your support on Kickstarter (a crowd funding site) including an artist signed copy for only $25 USD, international shipping is available.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But don't you want all of the paintings collected together into a book?  Of course your do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409026---199992/Painting.html#.U9WfqMvD_IU

Tour Final Stage: The First to Attack

Even before the tricolore smoke trail had vanished from overhead, the French National Time Trial Champion, Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) attacked the peloton and got a good gap before reaching the L'Arc de Triomphe to swing back down the other side of the famous boulevard.  He may have broken the tradition of giving a full lap of honor to the Yellow Jersey but I am quite sure that the French will forgive him the cheek.  Someone had to be the first to attack, Chavanel decided it might as well be him.  Even with his time trialing abilities, it was unlikely that he could hold off the teams of the sprinters who wanted to claim the Parisian stage.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This painting will be one of the complete collection of my paintings of the 101st Tour de France that will be included in my soon to be self published "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bringing the art of the Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some excellent incentives to encourage you to pledge your support on Kickstarter (a crowd funding site) including an artist signed copy for only $25 USD, international shipping is available.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But don't you want all of the paintings collected together into a book?  Of course your do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409024---199992/Painting.html#.U9WcqsvD_IU

Tour Final Stage: Arriving on the Champs Elysees

For those who had succeed it making it all of the way around France (and the dips into England and Spain), it was with a sense of relief, pride and accomplishment that they rolled onto the cobbles of the Champs Elysees.  As they made the first climb up the wide boulevard towards the L'Arc de Triomphe, they were cheered by tens of thousands and saluted by the French Air Force flying with perfect timing towards them with the tricolore smoke trailing behind. Another tradition is for the team of the Yellow Jersey to lead the peloton around the first lap in Paris, today it was not quite even the first half of the lap before the racing began in earnest.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This work and all of my paintings of the 2014 Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published "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 the art of the Tour to print, pleas visit .  There are some great incentives to get you to back the book starting for as little as $5 USD, everyone who pledges their support will have their name included in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But don't you want all of the paintings in a book form?  Of course you do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409014---199992/Painting.html#.U9WY0MvD_IU

Tour Last Stage: Friends Along the Way

Blel Kadri (AG2R) took advantage of the extremely slow pace of the peloton to stop and visit with a friend waiting along the side of the road.  His buddy seem to reach out to embrace him, stunned at how thin he was, and then to revel in Kadri's survival to Paris and his victories along the way.  AG2R has had a stellar Tour de France, taking the overall team victory and placing Jean-Chirstophe Peraud onto the podium in third place.  Kadri brought them a stage victory and held the King of the Mountains Jersey for one stage as a result.  The young boy on his dad's shoulders will have a tale for years to come, regaling anyone who will listen about getting to meet Blel Kadri on the last day of the Tour de France.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This work and all of my paintings of the 2014 Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published "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 the art of the Tour to print, pleas visit .  There are some great incentives to get you to back the book starting for as little as $5 USD, everyone who pledges their support will have their name included in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But don't you want all of the paintings in a book form?  Of course you do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409008---199992/Painting.html#.U9WWTsvD_IU

Tour Final Stage: Toasting the Team

Yet another tradition of the Tour de France is for the winner of the Yellow Jersey to have a glass of champagne on the gentle ride towards the Seine and the Champs Elysees.  Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) true to his character, went to the team car and collected glasses of bubbly for each and everyone of his teammates who had worked so hard to get him into the Jersey and to keep him there.  It was an act of bike handling to collect nine glasses and then to ride to each teammate to hand them a glass.  Astana is one of the few teams that brought all nine riders all of the way around the Tour.  They did come very close to losing Jakob Fuglsang on a crash coming down a mountain, but he got back on the bike and kept going all the way to Paris.  When Nibali won the 2013 Giro d'Italia, they skipped the glasses and passed the bottle around, each taking big pulls off of the magnum as they rode along.  It is amusing to know that his General Manager had criticized the Italian for failing to produce results in the earlier part of the season, Nibali simply let his legs give the answer.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This work and all of my paintings of the 2014 Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published "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 the art of the Tour to print, pleas visit .  There are some great incentives to get you to back the book starting for as little as $5 USD, everyone who pledges their support will have their name included in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But don't you want all of the paintings in a book form?  Of course you do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2409002---199992/Painting.html#.U9WTfsvD_IU

Tour Final Stage: Just One More Time

Every stage of the Tour de France starts with the men wearing the leaders' Jersey lined up in front of the rest of the peloton.  The final stage was no different, Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) have been spending quite a bit of time together at the start of each stage, both have worn their respective Jerseys for nearly every single stage of the 101st Tour de France.  They are joined by the White Jersey of best young rider, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), just out of frame is Rafal Majka (Tinkoff Saxo) in the Polka Dot Jersey of the King of the Mountains.  The final stage is a chance for everyone to talk, say their farewells and general enjoy themselves.  That is until they swing past the Louvre in Paris and start up the Champs Elysees.  Then it is time to race one more time, every one in the Tour dreams of winning on the famed cobbles in the shadow of the L'Arc de Triomphe and without the need to hold back for another day, it is some full on racing for the fans in Paris.  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, a North American family owned and operated art supply company, www.richesonart.com.  The painting is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This work and all of my paintings of the 2014 Tour de France will be included in my soon to be self published "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 the art of the Tour to print, pleas visit .  There are some great incentives to get you to back the book starting for as little as $5 USD, everyone who pledges their support will have their name included in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But don't you want all of the paintings in a book form?  Of course you do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408998-159-156-199992/Painting/Sports.html#.U9WQbcvD_IU

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tour Stage 20: Whipping Around the Corner

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) started the only Time Trial of the 101st Tour de France in second place just barely ahead of his countryman and former teammate, Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R).  The younger French man, did all he could to stay even with Peraud but even with the AG2R rider's flat tire, the wearer of the White Jersey of best young rider was not able to best the older Frenchman.  Pinot road has hard as he could taking every necessary risk to save as many seconds as possible.  While losing the Maillot Blanche was not a realistic prospect, he wanted to ensure that he stayed on the podium in Paris.  This is the best showing by the French in their home Tour in forty years, today confirming their hold on second and third place and the White Jersey.  Along the way their have garnered two stage victories and treated their fans to some serious bike racing.  With a third young countryman in the top six, the future of French cycling is very bright indeed.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com and will be part of my soon to be self published book of Tour de France artwork, "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 stunning Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some excellent Backer Rewards for those who choose to pledge their support, including artist signed copies of the book, original art, postcards and even a copies of the book signed by the eventual winner of the Tour, Vincenzo Niblai.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408592---199992/Painting.html#.U9QrIsvD_IU

Tour Stage 20: On a Lap of Honor

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) had such a substantial lead over his nearest rival that he could easily have cruised around the 54 kilometer course, but that is not what gave the Maillot Jaune the seven minute plus lead that he currently enjoys.  Nibali proved in the mountains that he came to the Tour to win and to win with authority.  He brought that same attitude to the penultimate stage of the 101st Tour de France, as he came through the second time check, he was only slower than the World Time Trial Champion, Tony Martin (OPQS) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC).  He was riding with a different interpretation of a lap of honor, he was bringing honor to the Maillot Jaune and the Tour de France by doing his best to win the stage.  His ride was enough for fifth place, faster than anyone in the remaining top six of the General Classification.  While he had no need of gaining time, he finished the stage gaining time on all of his rivals.  I imagine that his reticence to celebrate his overall victory may finally be evaporating.  But there is still one more day of the Tour, and with this edition of the Grand Boucle, anything can happen, and for many it already has.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com and will be part of my soon to be self published book of Tour de France artwork, "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 stunning Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some excellent Backer Rewards for those who choose to pledge their support, including artist signed copies of the book, original art, postcards and even a copies of the book signed by the eventual winner of the Tour, Vincenzo Niblai.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408590---199992/Painting.html#.U9Qn2svD_IU

Tour Stage 20: Getting His Three Minute Man

One of these guys is having the ride of his life, the other not so much.  With all of the top ten close together in overall time, everyone had a lot to ride for.  Tejay van Garderen (BMC) was on fire catching Bauke Mollema (Belkin Pro Cycling) who was crawling around the course by comparison.  For the American, he was saving his placing and looking sure to move into fifth overall with a long shot at taking over fourth from the struggling Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).  Ultimately, van Garderen grabbed sixth on the stage but took over fifth for the ride into Paris, Mollema slipped down to eighth, ceding ground to the NetApp-Endura Tour rookie, Leopold Konig, who also was on great form today.  With 169 riders starting out in two or three minute intervals, it made for a long day for the spectators who lined the course.  Many came with picnics, lawn chairs and shade umbrellas to watch there favorites fly by.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website, www.greigleach.com, and it will appear in my soon to be self published complete collection of my Tour cycling art, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can be part of bringing this race to print, please visit, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some great rewards for those who choose to back this effort, with an artist signed copy for only $25 USD, international shipping is available.  Anyone who pledges, regardless of the amount, will have their name included on the Special Thanks page of this unique visual treasure of the Tour.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But wouldn't you also like to have a copy of the book to go along with your painting?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408584---199992/Painting.html#.U9QgYMvD_IU

Tour Stage 20: Precious Seconds

Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R) had everything riding on his performance in the only Time Trial of the 101st Tour de France, and did not need anything to go wrong.  Unfortunately his wishing of luck to Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) did not insolate him from having bad luck himself.  At about the half way point when he had already secured the Virtual Second Place on the road, he had a rear tire flat.  He let his following team car know what was wrong and then pulled to a stop along the decorated front yard of a house along the route.  He gently set his first time trial machine down as he waited for his mechanics to bring a replacement bike to him.  He did his best to remain calm, as the pair moved with precision to get him up and running.  The whole process took about 15 seconds, but with the GC placing so tight, it was time he would rather not give up.  Perhaps the adrenaline from the delay would push him to the line in time.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  It will be part of the soon to be self published complete collection of my paintings and writings 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 to become part of bringing this race to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some great rewards for those who choose to pledge their support starting for as little as $5 USD.  Everyone who backs the project will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of "Book de Tour".  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?  Of course you do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408582---199992/Painting.html#.U9QbtMvD_IU

Tour Stage 20: Bon Chance, Mon Ami

With the riders starting at three minute intervals on the top end of the General Classification, they have some time behind the start gate to talk with each other.  All have spent time getting warmed up, timing their muscles optimum performance point to their start time, some will wear a game face keeping to themselves others are much more open.  Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R) sitting just 2 seconds behind his countryman, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), reached out to the young man in the Maillot Blanche (covered by an ice vest) to wish him well in the coming test.  The two were confident that they would both end the day on the podium for the ride into Paris, it was just a question of who would be in second and who would be in third.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  It will be part of the soon to be self published complete collection of my paintings and writings 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 to become part of bringing this race to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some great rewards for those who choose to pledge their support starting for as little as $5 USD.  Everyone who backs the project will have their name in print on the Special Thanks page of "Book de Tour".  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?  Of course you do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408552---199992/Painting.html#.U9QXpsvD_IU

Tour Stage 20: Picking Them Off One by One

The Time Trial stage has riders starting on their own at first two minute intervals and then three minute intervals as the top riders come to the start line.  The order of start times is in reverse of the rider's placing on the General Classification, so the Lanterne Rouge starts off the day and the Maillot Jaune is the last rider on the road.  Tony Martin (OPQS) in his Rainbow Jersey of the World Time Trial Champion, was burning up the 54 kilometer course passing rider after rider who had set out before him.  At this point he is catching Mickael Cherel (AG2R) who had left downtown Bergerac 8 minutes ahead of the Time Trial Specialist.  Riders are not allowed to draft off of each other, so as Martin approached Cherel, he swung wide of the Frenchman and then stayed on that side of the road until he was well past the Frenchman.  Not that Cherel could have caught the wheel of the flying German.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website and will be included in my complete collection of paintings of the 101st Tour de France that are soon to be self published in my, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how to become part of bringing this fabulous race to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some exciting and excellent rewards for those of you who choose to pledge your support on Kickstarter, with rewards starting for as little as $5 USD.  Everyone who supports the project will have their name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book, regardless of the pledge amount.  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 "Book de Tour" as well?  Sure you do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408548---199992/Painting.html#.U9QTH8vD_IU

Tour Stage 20: Into the First Corner

Like Tony Martin's (OPQS) domination on the World Stage, Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) has dominated the French Time Trial Championships for three years running.  So it is with pride that he rolls out of the start house and into the first corner of the 54 kilometer race against the clock.  The Frenchman pushed as hard as he could into the first sharp right turn of the course that remained technical through out the city of Bergerac.  Once out of town Chavanel and the rest of the field could get into their aerodynamic tuck and settle into their rhythm for the hour plus all out effort to Perigreux.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website and will be included in my complete collection of paintings of the 101st Tour de France that are soon to be self published in my, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how to become part of bringing this fabulous race to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some exciting and excellent rewards for those of you who choose to pledge your support on Kickstarter, with rewards starting for as little as $5 USD.  Everyone who supports the project will have their name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book, regardless of the pledge amount.  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 "Book de Tour" as well?  Sure you do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408546---199992/Painting.html#.U9QP8MvD_IU

Tour Stage 20: Ready to Roll

Having waited twenty days to show why he is the World Time Trial Champion, Tony Martin (OPQS) was ready to roll down the start ramp in Bergerac.  Called the 'Race of Truth' because it is the efforts of the guy on the bike alone, without drafting, teammates or any place to hide from the wind, that determines how well they do in the stage.  Martin was not very high up on the General Classification, but with this being his discipline, he would only be happy with a stage win.  He has won the last two individual time trials in the Tour de France, and is wearing the Rainbow Time Trialist Jersey for the third year in a row.  This Tour he has also won an open road stage, a first for him, using his time trialing abilities to hold off the chasing peloton.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes by Jack Richeson & Company, www.richesonart.com.  The painting is available through my artist website and will be included in my complete collection of paintings of the 101st Tour de France that are soon to be self published in my, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how to become part of bringing this fabulous race to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some exciting and excellent rewards for those of you who choose to pledge your support on Kickstarter, with rewards starting for as little as $5 USD.  Everyone who supports the project will have their name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book, regardless of the pledge amount.  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 "Book de Tour" as well?  Sure you do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408544-151-144-199992/Painting/Sports.html#.U9QM_MvD_IU

Tour Stage 19: The Other End of the Race

Even as his teammate celebrate the victory he so narrowly missed in Nimes, Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp) was picking himself back up off of the road.  He was one of roughly thirty riders who went down just inside of the final 3 kilometers to go point on the approach into Bergerac.  The three kilometer part of the story is critical.  Riders who crash or have a mechanical inside of that point are given the same time on the stage as those whom they were with that make it to the finishing line. Bauer took longer to get back underway than most who went down, and was shaking out his left arm as he slowly pedal the remaining distance to join his jubilant teammate.  Many others came up along his side as he rode in, but unlike the Garmin Sharp man, they had been dropped out on the course and their arrival time gaps were what would be recorded as their official times.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting will be amongst the complete collection of paintings of the 2014 Tour de France the will comprise my soon to be self published, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can become a part of bringing this Tour de France 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408468---199992/Painting.html#.U9M9M8vD_IU

Tour Stage 19: Embracing the Rain

Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin Sharp) reached into the wet air, embracing the rain and savoring his daring long solo run to the finish line to victory.  He may have been helped by the rather large pile of bikes and cyclists that happened near the front of the peloton taking out sprinters and sprint trains alike.  Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was one of those who lay on the side of the road with no chance for the stage victory that has alluded the Slovakian sprinter in the 101st Tour de France.  He has achieved his stated goal of winning the Green Jersey of the most consistent sprinter, but would have liked to been the first to cross the line at least once in this Tour.  With an individual time trial for Stage 20 and the sprinters delight on the Champs Elysees for the finale, this was most likely his last chance to take a stage.  His body language on the side of the road did not equal the joy of Navardauskas, to say the least.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting will be amongst the complete collection of paintings of the 2014 Tour de France the will comprise my soon to be self published, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can become a part of bringing this Tour de France 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408456---199992/Painting.html#.U9M59cvD_IU

Tour Stage 19: On His Own

Team Garmin Sharp went into this stage as one of thirteen teams that have yet to win a Stage of the 101st Tour de France, and they were not planning on letting that still be the case at the end of the day.  After putting Tom Jelte Slagter in the early break, they then launched Ramunas Navardauskas off of the front of the peloton on the only Categorized climb of the day.  While it was still 20 kilometers to the line, they were hoping to rectify the Jack Bauer being caught at the line in Nimes.  Cycling is a sport that will go in almost any conditions, and the fans will come out to watch them regardless of the weather, so it is that the roads today were lined with umbrellas, slickers and ponchos, because the rain was not going to dampen the mood of the fans.  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 art 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 become a part of bringing this Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some excellent rewards for those who choose to pledge their support, but do hurry the funding period ends on the 4th of August.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408454---199992/Painting.html#.U9M2GcvD_IU

Tour Stage 19: In the Spray

There are so many complications when the skies open up on the peloton.  For the riders the rain brings dangers roads where a slick painted line on the road can leave you sliding butt first across the road or the grit that has washed onto the tarmac can send slivers into your tires leaving you with a flat and a hard chase back onto the peloton after a wheel change.  And then there is the misery of 5 hours of wet feet, cold and the constant spray of dirty ditch water being sprayed up into your face from the bikes, motorcycles and support vehicles that form the modern peloton.  For those of us who are covering the race or watching as avid fans, with race capes that cover numbers, it can be very difficult to tell who is who, or even what team the riders are on.  Race organizers have attached transponders to the cyclist's bikes, but even that method fails when a rider has to have a bike change.  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 art 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 become a part of bringing this Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some excellent rewards for those who choose to pledge their support, but do hurry the funding period ends on the 4th of August.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408444---199992/Painting.html#.U9My9MvD_IU

Tour Stage 19: A Little Bit of Advice

Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne-Seche) slipped to the back of the small group that was off the front of the peloton by over three minutes to chat with his Team Director.  By the hand gestures that were coming from behind the steering wheel, it seemed to be a discussion about the dangers of the course that lay ahead.  The group would soon be getting to the outskirts of Bergerac and the wet roads would make for some slippery roundabouts and 90 degree turns as the riders came to the end of a 208.5 kilometer slough through drizzle, wet roads and thunderstorms.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website, www.greigleach.com and will be included in my soon to be self published complete collection of my paintings 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 a part of bringing this art of cycling to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous Backer Rewards for those who choose to pledge to the Kickstarter "Book de Tour" project for as little as $5 USD.  Every level of support will get your name printed 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 a copy of the book that this painting will be included in as well?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408442---199992/Painting.html#.U9Muis_D_IU

Tour Stage 19: Leading the Way

The final day of open road racing was greeted by yet more rain.  More rain and the regular early break with some of the usual players for the long shot.  The peloton was guided through the course by a five man escape group that included some of the usual suspects, Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin Sharp) and Rein Taatamae (Cofidis).  The only new guy to the party was the Bretagne-Seche man, Arnuad Gerard.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Stave Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson and Company, www.richesonart.com.  This painting is available through my artist website, www.greigleach.com and will be included in my soon to be self published complete collection of my paintings 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 a part of bringing this art of cycling to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous Backer Rewards for those who choose to pledge to the Kickstarter "Book de Tour" project for as little as $5 USD.  Every level of support will get your name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book.  To purchase this painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post. 

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408440-145-138-199992/Painting/Sports.html#.U9MsM8_D_IU

Friday, July 25, 2014

Tour Stage 18: He Has Done What He Wanted

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) seems to have been able to do whatever he wanted on the bike.  He picked up his fourth stage win on the top of one of the fabled monsters of the Pyrenees, the Hautacam.  He apparently gave away the Yellow Jersey for one stage to give his team a break, and then took it back at will.  He has won on a climb in the United Kingdom, in the Alps and now in the Pyrenees.  I think he wanted today's stage victory to say to all that this Tour was his and he would have had the better of whomever had been there to race against him.  As he raised his arms in celebration, he was joined by those in the team car behind apparently allowed to follow their victorious rider to the line, rather than being required to turn off as per usual.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com. This painting will also be included in my soon to be self published collection of all of my 101st Tour de France artwork in the "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the project, or to pre order your copy, or to discover how to become a part of bringing this beautiful race to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  To purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but don't you want to get a copy of the book too?  Sure you do!

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408006---199992/Painting.html#.U9HtAc_D_IU

Tour Stage 18: Down to Seconds

Although there was no hope of catching the soaring Niblai, the next four men on the road were racing for time gaps that would be measured in seconds.  Nibali had almost six minutes on the second place rider, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), the next four placings were separated by under three minutes.  So it was that Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) were going as hard as they could, having dropped Valverde.  With 800 meters left to race in the high mountains, Pinot was the virtual second overall and his countryman, Peraud was onto the podium in third.  Tucked onto their wheels was the Polka Dot clad, Rafal Majka, who had his own chasing to do.  If Nibali won the stage (as he was sure to do) Majka was going to have to finish in the top six on the stage to keep his spotted prize all the way to Paris.  Tejay just wanted to hold his sixth and have the personal satisfaction of redeeming his one bad day in the mountains.  Behind them all, capturing every pedal stroke were the daredevil camera men, standing on the back of a motorcycle with a video camera on their shoulders.  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 cycling art from 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 of the book, or to discover how you can become part of bringing the art of this Tour 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2408002---199992/Painting.html#.U9HpKM_D_IU

Tour Stage 18: Who Has Got the Legs?

Once Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) had gone off, taking the Maillot Jaune of Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) along for the ride up the road, the rest of the peloton looked around sizing each other up.  Both Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) looked at each other and then into the eyes of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).  They must have seen something in the eyes of Valverde that let them know he wouldn't be able to go with another attack.  Pinot, sitting in third, could take over Valverde's second place on the GC if he only got just under two minutes on the Spaniard.  Behind this group where the other two Frenchman of AG2R, that were high up on the leader board, Jean-Christophe Peraud and Romain Bardet.  With just this last climb to gain time in this stage, and an individual time trial yet to come, it was now or never to move up on the General Classification.  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 cycling art from 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 of the book, or to discover how you can become part of bringing the art of this Tour 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.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2407992---199992/Painting.html#.U9HllM_D_IU

Tour Stage 18: The Old Man Attacks

Chris Horner (Lampre-Merida) is the second oldest man of the Tour de France peloton, just a couple of months younger than Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing).  Horner, now able to ride for himself since Rui Costa was forced to retire from the Tour due to illness.  Horner has been riding well, particularly given the serious train wreck that he experienced early in the season, a wreck that nearly left him unable to walk again and by all rights, should have been the end of his career.  The professional peloton his made up of men that simply won't quit regardless of the hardships they have endured.  But to be able to race flat out for 21 days with short stages covering over a hundred kilometers, the mental and physical fortitude of these cyclists simply won't allow themselves to throw in the towel.  Many of those that have left the race have done so after finishing a stage with broken bones.  When Horner made his attack, the only man who could go with him was the Yellow Jersey of Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who used Horner's move as a spring board for an attack of his own.   This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This painting 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 signed copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bringing the 101st Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some great Backer incentives with rewards starting for pledges as little as $5 USD.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2407976---199992/Painting.html#.U9HgU8_D_IU

Tour Stage 18: Daredevil Descent

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was less than confident about his ability to stay with Nibali and the other GC men on the final ascent of a big mountain in the 2014 Tour de France, so he decided he would use his skill as a descender to put time into his rivals.  He joined up with Jon Izaguirre, who had dropped back from the early break, and John Gadret, as the threesome got into as tight of an aerodynamic tuck as possible, and let it rip down the back side of the Col du Tourmalet.  They opened a bit of a gab on the peloton, although Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was able to stay within side of the fleeing Movistar team.  Others just behind Valverde on the GC, didn't possess the same level of daring that the man in second place over all has, so it was a good time to gain time.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This painting 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 signed copy, or to discover how you can be a part of bringing the 101st Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some great Backer incentives with rewards starting for pledges as little as $5 USD.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2407966---199992/Painting.html#.U9HcSc_D_IU

Tour Stage 18: Parting the Sea

The climbs of the Tour de France are always lined with enthusiastic fans of the sport, many whom have camped for days to see these titans of the sport ride by.  Some have had a bit to drink and will be a little too eager to shout for (or against) the riders as they attempt to part the sea of fans, flags and banners.  Each group of riders will be accompanied by one of the Gendarmes that support and secure the race, using their motorcycles as a rather effective battering ram.  The officer has to stay far enough ahead of the riders so as not to offer a slipstream to shelter the riders, but not so far ahead that the crowd will simply close in back around his motorcycle to get in the face of the struggling riders.  Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), Yury Trofimov (Katusha) and Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura) are the third group to squeeze through the throngs of fans as they approach the summit of one of the monster of the Tour.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This 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 beautiful race to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  Be sure to check out the generous Backer Rewards for those who choose to pledge their support to the "Book de Tour" project.  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 as well?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2407958---199992/Painting.html#.U9HYg8_D_IU

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tour Stage 18: Chatting on the Way Up

First it was Mikel Nieve (Team Sky) that sprung off of the front of the lead group on the Tourmalet, but he was quickly joined by Blel Kadri (AG2R).  Kadri is part of the French team that has the overall team lead, which in determined by the combined times of the three highest placed riders on each team.  He was also the first Frenchman to win a stage in this Tour and has worn the Polka Dot Jersey in the first half of the race.  Nieve is racing on his home roads and was on the now defunct Basque team of Euskatdel-Euskadi, with these incentives and the desire to redeem Team Sky's Tour with a stage victory, he was riding hard up the fabled climb of the Col du Tourmalet to deliver the victory on the final climb up the Hautacam.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This 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 beautiful race to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  Be sure to check out the generous Backer Rewards for those who choose to pledge their support to the "Book de Tour" project.  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 as well?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2407902---199992/Painting.html#.U9HVas_D_IU

Tour Stage 18: Coming Back to the Peloton

Bryan Coquard (Europcar) had managed to make it into the early break which enabled him to sprint for the intermediate sprint points.  While he has no chance of catching, Peter Sagan (Cannondale), the current holder of the Green points jersey, he did help to secure his second place over Marcel Kittel.  After the sprint, the French sprinter wasn't up to staying on the wheels of the break on the lower slopes of the Col du Tourmalet.  He was the first escapee to be picked up by the Astana led peloton.  He is reaching into his pockets so he can pass gels and bottles to his teammates in the Yellow Jersey group.  As he was sure to slide on out the back of the peloton, he knew he would be able to get more to drink from the team car as it went forward and he went back to the grupetto.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This painting, along with all of my art 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 become a part of bring this race to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some excellent incentives to get you to become a backer of this project.  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 visual record of this stunning Tour de France?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2407880---199992/Painting.html#.U9HRXc_D_IU

Tour Stage 18: Preparing to Climb

Team Europcar, who have been racing with guts and aggression, put three men into the early break, most notably their darling of the French public, Thomas Voeckler.  Has the large break went through town before making the turn that let to the famed Col du Tourmalet, Voeckler dropped back to his team car to get one more bottle and energy gel for the climb.  The men in the Tour will burn over 6,000 calories on an average stage, and this stage with its two Haute Catagorie climbs was going to be anything but average.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com and will be included, along with all of my 2014 Tour de France paintings 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 become involved in bringing the art of the Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some exciting incentives for those who choose to back the project starting for as little as $5 USD and at $25 USD, you will get an artist signed copy of the "Book de Tour".  Everyone who pledges their support will have their name in print included in the Special Thanks page of the book regardless of the amount pledged.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But you know you want a copy of the book to go with the artwork, don't you?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2407870---199992/Painting.html#.U9HNWs_D_IU

Tour Stage 18: A Long Thin Line

Stage 18 of the Tour de France started innocently enough with just two small climbs in the first half of the stage.  The Astana led peloton let a rather large break away get off of the front, none within a half hour of Vincenzo Nibali's Maillot Jaune.  It would normally be safe to assume that Astana would sit back and let the race unfold, but there has been nothing normal about Nibali's desire to remove any doubt that he is the rightful wearer of the Jersey, regardless of who is in and who is out of the 101st Tour de France.  He had told the press that he wanted to win another stage in Yellow, to show honor to the Jersey and the Tour.  He doesn't expect to do well in the only Time Trial on Stage 20, and won't be anywhere near the first guy across the line on tomorrow's flat stage or on the cobbles of the Champs Elysees in the shadow of the L'Arc de Triomphe.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that has been 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, along with all of my 2014 Tour de France paintings 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 become involved in bringing the art of the Tour to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some exciting incentives for those who choose to back the project starting for as little as $5 USD and at $25 USD, you will get an artist signed copy of the "Book de Tour".  Everyone who pledges their support will have their name in print included in the Special Thanks page of the book regardless of the amount pledged.  To purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But you know you want a copy of the book to go with the artwork, don't you?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2407864-135-132-199992/Painting/Sports.html#.U9HKQ8_D_IU