Sunday, May 31, 2015

Giro Final Stage:An Upset Victory

This year's Giro seems to be the year of the breakaways.  I don't have an exact number, but it feels like far more stages have been won by a member of the breakaway, either the early break working all day to achieve victory, or like today, the late attack that catches the peloton off guard.   For this pair of Lijo Keisse (Etixx Quickstep) and Luke Durbridge (Orica BreenEdge) you could see it enter their minds on the bell lap that one of them was about to win the final stage of the 98th Giro d'Italia.  Keisse had the advantage of coming from the track and from being wise enough to force Durbridge to start his sprint from the front.  Durbridge did what he could but with the peloton charging down on the duo, he couldn't do the classic game of cat and mouse, but instead had to hope that he had the legs and Keisse didn't.  Alas, for the Aussie, Keisse had them.  Durbridge can take comfort knowing that Orica GreenEdge held the first four Maglia Rosas and one the opening Team Time Trial stage.  Whereas, Etixx-Quickstep had yet to claim a stage, and their team leader had been unable to produce his former prowess in previous Giros.  So it was truly and upset victory even if the over all winner has been known for weeks.  So "Chapeau, Contador!"

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from the small family run art supply company, Jack Richeson and Company.  There website is www.richesonart.com.  Plus, this painting is available through my artist website for only $50 USD, plus shipping (international is available) at www.greigleach.com.  To get this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but don't delay.  This is an original work of art, so when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561858---184157/Painting.html#.VWvLgM9Viko

Giro Final Stage: Trying to Make It Stick

Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) and Lijo Keisse (Etixx Quickstep) went from almost the moment the Promenade was over, prying almost a thirty second gab on the peloton full of sprinters.  Sprinters who surely wanted to vie for one more stage victory.  With the technical nature of the 5 lap circuit, the powerful duo had the strength and the long shot of actually making the escape stick.  They had already spoiled the Red Jersey hopefuls chances of getting maximum points at the intermediate sprint, now it was beginning to look like they might do the same at the final finish line of the 98th Giro d'Italia.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from the small family run art supply company, Jack Richeson and Company.  There website is www.richesonart.com.  Plus, this painting is available through my artist website for only $50 USD, plus shipping (international is available) at www.greigleach.com.  To get this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but don't delay.  This is an original work of art, so when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561846---184157/Painting.html#.VWvFfs9Viko

Giro Final Stage: Starting an Arguement

With two riders up the road the points on offer for the remaining positions in the intermediate sprints were greatly reduced.  It is theorized that Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) and Sacha Modolo (Lampre Merida) had come to an arrangement that neither would sprint for the victory at the intermediate sprint leaving it all for the final sprint.  It seems that someone started to go for the early sprint, perhaps interpreting that since the breakaway had "won" the sprint, they were free to attack all of the other sprint hopefuls.  With the point differential in the race for the Red Jersey so tight, tempers seemed to be on edge.  Nizzolo appears to reach out and grab the jersey of Modolo right before Nizzolo and Trek Factory racing attacked for the remaining sprint points.  In the ensuing laps, the pair literally butted heads, shoulders and elbows.  Fortunately, the feathers seemed to have been back in place by the end of the stage, otherwise a head butt could have sent bikes and bodies flying all over the place.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from the small family run art supply company, Jack Richeson and Company.  There website is www.richesonart.com.  Plus, this painting is available through my artist website for only $50 USD, plus shipping (international is available) at www.greigleach.com.  To get this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but don't delay.  This is an original work of art, so when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561844---184157/Painting.html#.VWvBhM9Viko

Giro Final Stage: On a Promenade

Much as in the Tour de France, the peloton allowed the entire team of Tinkoff Saxo to ride onto the finishing circuit in Milan en mass with the Maglia Rosa tucked onto the end of the procession.  Close on the heals of Tinkoff Saxo were that Astana boys all in blue.  Astana holds the Maglia Blanco, the best team title and second and third on the general classification.  They do not hold the King of the Mountains Jersey as I said in my final post from yesterday.  Sorry, I had gotten bad information.  The Maglia Azzurro stayed on the shoulders of Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), so he finishes the Giro as the King of the Mountains.  The only Jersey that could possible change hands (barring any extreme misfortune) is the Red of the most consistent sprinter.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from the small family run art supply company, Jack Richeson and Company.  There website is www.richesonart.com.  Plus, this painting is available through my artist website for only $50 USD, plus shipping (international is available) at www.greigleach.com.  To get this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but don't delay.  This is an original work of art, so when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561842---184157/Painting.html#.VWu9EM9Viko

Giro Final Stage: Taking a Bow

While they were still in the neutral start section of the final stage of the 98th Giro d'Italia, Tinkoff Saxo clasped arms with the Maglia Rosa of Alberto Contador and took a bow for all of the press photographers astride their motorcycles.  As far as I could tell, the team eschewed the traditional sharing of the Prosecco, but not the re-taping of the handlebars with bright pink .  Contador went a step further with Specialized sending him a new bright pink bike.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from the small family run art supply company, Jack Richeson and Company.  There website is www.richesonart.com.  Plus, this painting is available through my artist website for only $50 USD, plus shipping (international is available) at www.greigleach.com.  To get this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but don't delay.  This is an original work of art, so when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561840---184157/Painting.html#.VWu1X89Viko

Giro Stage 20: More Than Enough

Chapeau, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo)!  Contador has held the Maglia Rosa for thirteen stage of the 98th Giro d'Italia and had paid honor to the Giro everyday.  These last two days the Astana duo of Aru and Landa, have sorely tested Contador.  Today, he came very close to actually cracking on the penultimate climb, but as he so often does, manage to recover.  He climbed within himself on the Colle Delle Finestre once he had been dropped, and did not take any unnecessary risks on the following descent.  He never panic, remembering that he had a very sizable time gap on those further up the road.  As he crossed the line over two minutes after the victorious Aru, he allowed himself a celebratory fist pumb, knowing that he had secured his second Grand Tour victory in a row.  Tomorrow he need only arrive safely with the peloton.  He can let the sprinters have their day, but he will be the one having the glory (and the prosecco).

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition, this painting is available for purchase from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But be advised, this is a one of a kind painting, so don't delay, when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561512---184157/Painting.html#.VWq3ic9Viko

Giro Stage 20: Best Young Rider

Fabio Aru (Astana) claim his second stage victory in a row, in so doing, he also claimed the fourth mountain top finish for his team.  He also solidified his second place standing on the General Classification, and his Maglia Blanco has never been in doubt, Fabio Fellini (Trek Factory Racing) who holds second place in the young rider competition is over forty five minutes behind this young Italian.  Aru pulled back over two minutes on the Maglia Rosa of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo), but the Spaniard knew exactly what his cushion was and seemed to hold back from the all out defense of Pink.  Aru's teammate, Mikel Landa, who had often sacrificed himself for Aru's benefit, earned the final Maglia Azzurro for his efforts on the day.  The young Italian certain has given his countrymen something to cheer about in their home Tour.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition, this painting is available for purchase from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But be advised, this is a one of a kind painting, so don't delay, when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561510---184157/Painting.html#.VWq0UM9Viko

Giro Stage 20: Something to Fight For

This group had managed to drop Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) along with some others whose absence would effect the general classification for most of this very select quintet.  Fabio Aru (Astana) with his teammate on his wheel were over four minutes behind the Maglia Rosa, so while they were gaining time on Contador, it was unrealistic to think that one of them might actually reclaim the coveted Pink Fleece.  For Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin) this group meant that he now has a very real chance of finishing in the top five, two minutes more and he might even make the top four.  For the yellow clad Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL Soudal) he was looking for that elusive stage win, and even had a long shot at reclaiming his Maglia Azzurro.  Finally, Rigoberto Uran (Etixx Quickstep) was reclaiming his honor, health, and had the strongest sprint of the group and could therefore honestly hope for the first stage win for himself and his team.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition, this painting is available for purchase from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But be advised, this is a one of a kind painting, so don't delay, when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561508---184157/Painting.html#.VWqxvs9Viko

Giro Stage 20: Shoulder to Shoulder

With the top of the Giro and the Primo Coppi in sight, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) was caught by the charging Mikel Landa (Astana).  Before the thousands who had gotten themselves up to watch the hard men in spandex summit this illustrious climb, the pair road shoulder to shoulder on the rutted dirt and mud track.  Poor Zakarin, who had labored alone up most of the tortured ascent, Landa nipped around the Russian just as the reached the high point of the race.  For the pair, it was now time to get back down off of the mountain as fast as possible.  Fortunately, the back side of the Colle Delle Finestre featured a well paved smooth road.  Reaching the kind of speeds that they were about to obtain and then cornering on this dirt track could well have been disastrous.  The tight corners and high speeds on the tarmac were dangerous enough.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition, this painting is available for purchase from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But be advised, this is a one of a kind painting, so don't delay, when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561502---184157/Painting.html#.VWqubc9Viko

Giro Stage 20: A Monster of a Ride

The final section of the penultimate climb of the Giro was some of the worst surfaces for bike racing, out done only by the famed pave sections of Paris Roubaix.  However this road was also on a 10% average gradient, whereas those of Northern France are straight and flat.  Both race courses come with thousands of yelling, costumed fans, many of whom are considerable less than sober as well.  Today the peloton found it self negotiating the winds and exposed crags above the tree line and into the remaining pockets of last winter's snow.  Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin) has truly come into his own over the last week of the Giro, climbing not only mountains but the general classifications standing as well.  Tucked onto the resurgent Canadian's wheel is another who's final days of the Giro are far superior to the opening days, Rigoberto Uran (Etixx Quickstep).  Both men should move even further up the GC based on their efforts today.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition, this painting is available for purchase from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But be advised, this is a one of a kind painting, so don't delay, when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561498---184157/Painting.html#.VWqrYM9Viko

Giro Stage 20: Hard Ride & Bad Road

The final day of climbing for the 98th Giro d'Italia feature a very long, steep climb to the highest point of the entire race.  The final section of the climb of the Colle Delle Finestre was a 10 kilometer stretch of unpaved, dusty, rutted one lane track that challenged the riders stability and their climbing legs.  Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL Jumbo) worked hard to keep those he had dropped earlier from catching back onto his wheel.  At his point, Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin) was closing back to the Dutchman.  Hesjedal had the Maglia Rosa of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) glued onto his wheel, with the Astana duo of Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa just behind the man in pink.  It seems cruel that the 30 kilometer banner should be sponsored by an Italian beer company.  I am sure most of the peloton was lusting for a cold beer after a long, hot, dusty day in the saddle.  Bicycling Magazine claims that a beer after a hard ride is a perfect recovery drink.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition, this painting is available for purchase from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But be advised, this is a one of a kind painting, so don't delay, when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561494---184157/Painting.html#.VWqnnc9Viko

Giro Stage 20: Attacking the Mountain

Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL Jumbo) has been having a "almost" Giro.  The Dutchman has been in multiple breakaways that have succeed all the way to the line, although he has only managed a second place on each of two stages.  One of those second places put him into the lead of the King of the Mountains competition, only to have the Blue Jersey taken from him yesterday by Giovanni Visconti (Movistar).  Today he was hell bent on taking back the jersey and claiming a stage victory.  On the last remaining stretch of hard surface road on the way up the Colle Delle Finestre, Kruijswijk attacked those that were left of the breakaway.  With Tanel Kangert (Astana) stuck on his wheel, he managed to escape from both Benat Intxuasti (Movistar) and Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin).  With seven more kilometers to the summit of this climb and then another 12 kilometers of climbing up to the mountain top finish, it was a tall order to achieve both of his goals for the day.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition, this painting is available for purchase from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But be advised, this is a one of a kind painting, so don't delay, when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561486---184157/Painting.html#.VWqk5c9Viko

Giro Stage 20: Worried About the Tifosi

Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) was the last survivor of the early breakaway.  He was doing a great job of holding his own against the chasing Gruppo Maglia Rosa on the climb up the fabled Coll Delle Finestre.  While still on the hard surfaced road, he was encountering the overly zealous tifosi along the course.  It is apparently a great treat for usually inebriated fans to run along side the struggling cyclists.  This often leads to painful mishaps, usually more for the runner than the racer, but many have had their climbing rhythm disrupted, been bumped into, or even knocked off of their bikes.  It has been entertaining listening to the BeIN Sports announcers, Daniel Lloyd and Carlton Kirby shout for the "idiots" to get out of the way (needless to say, the tifosi can't hear the broadcasters, nor would they heed them if they could).

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition, this painting is available for purchase from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But be advised, this is a one of a kind painting, so don't delay, when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561484---184157/Painting.html#.VWqiPs9Viko

Giro Stage 20: Flat, for Now

The penultimate stage of the 98th Giro d'Italia spent over a hundred kilometers on near pan flat roads, but the day ended with the peloton hitting the highest point of the entire Giro, the Colle Delle Finestre.  For Mauro Finetto (Southeast Pro Cycling), Nikias Arndt (Giant Alpecin) and Lijo Keisse (IAM Cycling), this would probably be the last time they would see the front of the peloton until the start of tomorrow's final stage.  Many of those around the back today were simply trying to conserve energy for what is sure to be a sprinter's contest in Milan.  Their only worry was to make sure they finished inside the time limit.  It would truly suck to not be allowed to start (and finish) the final stage after having ridden so many days and kilometers of the last twenty stages.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition, this painting is available for purchase from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But be advised, this is a one of a kind painting, so don't delay, when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561482---184157/Painting.html#.VWqfss9Viko

Giro Stage 20: Tending to the King

Race mechanics have a high pressure job, a mistake by them can mean a stage victory or an early exit from the Giro.  Then there is all of the tasks that face them.  For the Movistar mechanic, he had to provide AV services for Giovanni Visconti.  Visconti started the day in the Maglia Azzurro, the King of the Mountains Jersey.  However, others further up the road were in position to take it off of his shoulders by the end of the penultimate stage of the 98th Giro d'Italia.  Whoever pulled on the Jersey on the podium this evening, would be the one to claim the title of King of the Mountains for this year's Giro.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  In addition, this painting is available for purchase from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting for only $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But be advised, this is a one of a kind painting, so don't delay, when it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561480---184157/Painting.html#.VWqdJ89Viko

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Giro Stage 19: Fighting for the Stage

Surprisingly, it was Fabio Aru (Astana) that was able to go with the quickly escaping Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin).  Equally unsuspected was Mikel Landa (Astana), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) and Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL Jumbo) who couldn't respond (or chose not to) to the duo's assault on the final climb of the day.  Aru's counter attack shucked the lanky Canadian from his wheel and go on to claim his first stage in the 98th Giro d'Italia.  The victory had to sooth some of the bruising had taken over the last couple of days.  I'm sure it left in no doubt who the rightful team leader should be on the Kazakhstani team.  For his part, Hesjedal moved himself further up the standings, but had to accept second place on the stage.  He can celebrate moving from 9th overall up to 7th even if he didn't get to raise his arms in victory at the line in Cervinia.

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.  They are a small family run art supply company out of Wisconsin with really great art products.  You can learn more about them at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is also available through my artist website for only $50 USD, plus shipping.  The website is www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

Apparently, my website has decided it doesn't want to share my paintings today.  If you are interested in purchasing the painting, please email me at greigsart@gmail.com.

Giro Stage 19: He's the First to Attack

Once the elite of the 98th Giro d'Italia had put Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) and Pavel Kochetkov (Katusha) back into the peloton (and right back out the other end), those on the business end of affairs knew that there was a stage victory for the one who could get away.  Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin) has just been getting stronger and stronger as the Giro nears its final stage.  With about 10 kilometer to the summit and the finish line on the day, he was the first to jump away from the those on the top of the leader board.  Hesjedal was in the position to move further up the GC himself since the man ahead of him by seven seconds was already over a minute behind this talent group.  The first to try and counter the Canadian's move was the Maglia Rosa himself, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo).  Once Contador chased, Mikel Landa and his teammate, Fabio Aru (Astana) along with the Maglia Azurro, Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL Jumbo) had to jump onto the Spaniard's wheel.

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.  They are a small family run art supply company out of Wisconsin with really great art products.  You can learn more about them at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is also available through my artist website for only $50 USD, plus shipping.  The website is www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

Apparently, my website has decided it doesn't want to share my paintings today.  If you are interested in purchasing the painting, please email me at greigsart@gmail.com.

Giro Stage 19: Under Control

Astana obviously had a plan for the end of the stage today.  Virtually the entire team could be seen driving the pace on the front of the ever diminishing peloton.  The goal seemed to be to zap the legs of everyone else in the race, hoover up all of the early breakaway and then launch someone or some two guys off of the front for a stage victory.  The hope of taking the Maglia Rosa off of the shoulders of the uber talented Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) had certainly taken flight out the window, but a stage victory and a two, three on the podium was all but certain.

Every vigilante, you can see the Pink Jersey, dancing on the pedals and keeping a sharp eye on the boys in blue.  By this point in the stage, Contador was down to just his two most talented lieutenants, Roman Kreuziger and Mick Rogers.  Contador, however, has proven he can do a stellar job defending the jersey on his own.

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.  They are a small family run art supply company out of Wisconsin with really great art products.  You can learn more about them at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is also available through my artist website for only $50 USD, plus shipping.  The website is www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

Apparently, my website has decided it doesn't want to share my paintings today.  If you are interested in purchasing the painting, please email me at greigsart@gmail.com.

Giro Stage 19: Urging Him On

Less than a minute behind Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Pavel Kotchkov (Katusha) was desperately trying to tag onto the wheel of the Italian.  As they scaled the 12 kilometer climb up the Col Saint Pantaleon, his director sportif leaned way out the window to shout words of encouragement to the laboring Russian.  Kotchkov is one of the few native Russians who is riding the Giro for the Russia based Team Katusha.

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.  They are a small family run art supply company out of Wisconsin with really great art products.  You can learn more about them at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is also available through my artist website for only $50 USD, plus shipping.  The website is www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

Apparently, my website has decided it doesn't want to share my paintings today.  If you are interested in purchasing the painting, please email me at greigsart@gmail.com.

Giro Stage 19: Clean Away

I am borrowing an expression from Daniel Lloyd, who is the announcer for the broadcast that I am watching.  He, and I, are rather impressed with Giovanni Visconti's (Movistar) attack out of the breakaway today.  Visconti made it a point to go for all of the King of the Mountain points he could collect on today's rather lumpy stage.  He may not have believed that he could stay away until the mountain top finish in Cervinia, but he was the first to summit both Saint Barthelemy and Col Saint Pantaleon.  The pair of climbs earned him enough points to take over the Maglia Azzurro.

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.  They are a small family run art supply company out of Wisconsin with really great art products.  You can learn more about them at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is also available through my artist website for only $50 USD, plus shipping.  The website is www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2561088-245-240-184157/Painting/Sports.html#.VWnFV89Viko

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Giro Stage 18: A Puncheur's Punch

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) timed his attack to perfection.  His teammate, Amael Moinard, had attacked the remaining trio from the original breakaway.  As the threesome had used a burst of energy to catch the fleeing Frenchman, Gilbert jumped from the back of the group and went off on his own.  With about 15 kilometers left to the finish in Verbania it was a long way to go, but the former World Road Racing Champion still had the legs to make it stick.  He had the added advantage of having a teammate behind to chase down any effort to bridge across to his wheel.  After 14 stages producing 14 different stage winners, Gilbert's win makes the third man to claim a second stage in the 98th Giro d'Italia.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting is available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560838---184157/Painting.html#.VWfcHc_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: Not Enjoying Their Own Medicine

Tinkoff Saxo and Alberto Contador got the opportunity to exact revenge on the pale blue boys of Team Astana today.  Try as they might, Tanel Kangert, Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa were unable to chase back onto the wheel of the Maglia Rosa.  It was a bit curious that Astana's Director Sportif called back Landa, to help assist Aru's chase.  With Landa starting the day 50 seconds ahead of his teammate, and obviously climbing better that the Italian in the Maglia Blanco, it seems that Astana's valuable asset should have been put to the aide of the man who had given the team two stage victories thus far.  I'm sure there were factors that I am unaware of, but the strategy left all three Astana riders losing time to Contador although Kangert is well out of the classification chase.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting is available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560836---184157/Painting.html#.VWfbQM_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: Come On, Do a Bit of Work

First, it is truly amazing just how much stronger Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin) is getting in the final days of the 98th Giro d'Italia.  Today, the Canadian chased down Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) as the man in the Maglia Rosa was trying to put as much time into his rivals as possible.  Near the summit of the Monte Olongo, the duo caught up to Davide Villella (Cannondale Garmin).  As the now trio headed down the other side of the mountain, Hesjedal was frustrated that Contador would not pull through and do a bit of the work.  Contador had less to gain, but should have been willing to assist the Cannondale Garmin boys.  Contador could stretch his lead and Hesjedal was looking to move up a couple of places on the GC.  With the pair sharing rivals, it seemed to Hesjedal that they should be allies for the day.

It was a nice touch that this debate took place as they sped pass race fans who had taken the time to festoon the road with pink balloons and hand made decorations.  The Giro often feels like a big pink rolling party.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting is available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560834---184157/Painting.html#.VWfacM_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: Quick Fix on the Fly

When a rider's luck is in, it is truly a fun thing to watch.  The day Contador had the ill timed flat, he ended up widening his advantage on the General Classification.  Today, having dropped everyone who tried to hold the Maglia Rosa's wheel, Contador dropped his chain when shifting to the smaller front chain ring.  He was lucky enough to be able to reach down and re-thread his chain and get back to the task at hand.  He was able to do this without having to stop.  His team car had pulled up behind with his mechanic jumping out while the car was still moving.  The mechanic first reached for a replacement bike, then realized that the problem had been fixed by the team leader on his own.  The mechanic barely had time to run up to Contador to give him a push before the Maglia Rosa was back to his distinctive, and effective, dancing on the pedals.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting is available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560832---184157/Painting.html#.VWfZls_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: Turn About Is Fair Play

Two days ago, Astana attacked Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) when he had a flat tire on a mountainous descent.  It angered the Spaniard and went against the unwritten rule that no one attacks the race leader when they have had a mechanical, nor when they have crashed.  Contador felt misused and chased Fabio Aru down and then put several more minutes into his closest rival.  Today, when Astana's Aru and Mikel Landa (2nd and 3rd behind Contador) Tinkoff Saxo went to the front of the remaining peloton and really drove the pace.  As they started up the final climb, Contador was down to one teammate and only Steve Kruijswijk (LottoNL Jumbo) was able to hold the wheel of the dancing Maglia Rosa.  Kruijswijk his now wearing the Azure Blue of the King of the Mountains, the jersey he claimed the same day that Astana pulled its most aggressive move.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting is available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560830---184157/Painting.html#.VWfYqs_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: They're Rid of the Others

Large breakaways tend to generate passengers (those not willing to do their share of time with their nose in the wind), so this group of five took off on the lower slopes of the Monte Olongo.  Leading the charge was David de La Cruz (Etixx Quickstep) he was joined by Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani CSF), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Sky) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC).  The twelve kilometer climb was the perfect chance for a good climber to gain an advantage, but the long descent town to the finishing town of Verbania was where the race could be won or lost.

The breakaway still had over 10 minutes on the trailing peloton, so these guys knew that the stage was one of their's for the taking.  The group must have been a little nervous being surrounded by the support vehicles, although with one driver having caused a wreck I am sure everyone was being extra careful.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting is available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560828---184157/Painting.html#.VWfXrc_BzGc

Giro Stage 18: Traffic Jam

The narrow roads and the steep climb at the end of a long flat stage, combined with some very tired legs to cause another pile up of carbon, flesh and spandex.  A number of teams were caught out in the delay or like Team Sky, scrambling to provide their riders with enough replacement bikes to get back underway.  One rider wasn't able to get back on his bike, Stig Broeckx (Lotto Soudal).  The Ethiopian National Champion, Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre) took the opportunity to stretch out his back while he waited for the road to clear.  Other caught behind the log jam of bicycles included Fabio Aru and most of Astana, along with the current holder of the Red Sprinter's Jersey, Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing).  These delays are one of the reasons the GC men want to be near the front of the peloton, one never knows when the clock is going to count against you.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting is available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560826---184157/Painting.html#.VWfWnc_BzGc

Giro Stage 18:Tending to the Aftermath

Roberto Ferrari (Lampre Merida) was one of the two victims of the run in with what was apparently a neutral service vehicle.  The details of what happen were rather sketchy, but the end result had Ferrari and Damiano Cunego (Nippo Vini Fantini) bloody and on the tarmac.  Ferrari was able to get back up and resume the stage, Cunego however saw his Giro come to an end.  The pair had been well place in a large breakaway that had gain the largest gap in the race thus far, leaving Cunego to wonder what might have been.  After he was back on the bike, Ferrari dropped back to the race doctor to get his wounds cleaned and a healthy dose of anti-bacterial spray.  Once he had been seen to, there was nothing to do but rejoin the peloton and hope for a better day tomorrow.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com,  They are a lovely family run art supply business with some really fine products.  This painting is available for purchase through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560824-237-234-184157/Painting/Sports.html#.VWfVkc_BzGc

Giro Stage 17: A Perfect Delivery

This painting earned the title of "Bridget's Favorite" for stage 17.  Bridget is my wife of almost 35 years and it is her brilliance that got me to start painting my absolute favorite sport.  I race as an amateur way back in the 70's and have continued to ride longer distance ever since.  Having the opportunity to combine my two main passions of art making and cycling, is an unbelievable joy.

Lampre Merida delivered their sprinter, Sacha Modolo, to the final 200 meters with perfection.  While all of the other teams lost too many men on the sharp climb that crested with 4 kilometers to go, Lampre brought two men to lead out Modolo to the 2 kilometers of the flat approach to the finish.  While Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) was denied the stage victory, his second place at the line combined with his best of the rest at the last intermediate sprint was enough points to take over the Maglia Russo of the points jersey.  Luka Mezgec (Giant Alpecin) was left still searching for his first stage victory.

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, www.richesonart.com.  This painting, and all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD plus shipping, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is a one of a kind original painting, so don't delay.  When it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560572---184157/Painting.html#.VWappflViko

Giro Stage 17: Storming Home

First Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and then Luca Paolini (Katusha) stormed past Patrick Gretsch (AG2R) and Greg Henderson (Lotto Soudal).  Paolini's attack looked sure to succeed and had the announcers for BeIn Sports, Daniel Lloyd and Carlton Kirby, screaming with excitement.  The duo sped down the final 2 kilometer descent and then onto the final 2 kilometers of flat roads.  Perhaps if the two had worked together, they may have had a chance, but the organized teams of Giant-Alpecin, Trek Factory Racing and Lampre-Merida were in hot pursue of a stage win for their respective sprinters.

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, www.richesonart.com.  This painting, and all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD plus shipping, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is a one of a kind original painting, so don't delay.  When it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560570---184157/Painting.html#.VWalyvlViko

Giro Stage 17: Let's Work Together

Once the peloton had reeled the early break back into their fold, it was time for the puncheurs to try their legs.  First to attack the collective was Patrick Gretsch (AG2R).  Gretsch looked over his shoulder to discover that Greg Henderson (Lotto Soudal) had joined him on the final climb of the day.  With only four kilometers until the end of the stage, Gretsch seemed to attempt to talk Henderson into collaborating on their escapee.  Henderson didn't feel that Gretsch had the legs to go the distance.  So the Kiwi quickly dropped the German and went off in search of a solo victory.  Lotto Soudal is left without their big marquee sprinter, Andre Greipel.  Greipel abandoned the Giro before the high mountains, opting instead to begin his preparation for the Tour de France.  Henderson has the remarkable distinction of making this appearance in the Giro his eleventh Grand Tour in a row!

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, www.richesonart.com.  This painting, and all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD plus shipping, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is a one of a kind original painting, so don't delay.  When it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560568---184157/Painting.html#.VWajzPlViko

Giro Stage 17: Getting on with the Job

One of the teams that have yet to claim a stage victory is Giant Alpecin,  Their sprinter, Luka Mezgec, has had his guys on the front of the peloton for most of the stage.  As the peloton whipped through Mennagio on Lake Como, it was the breakaway killer, Ji Cheng, who came to the front and kicked up the pace.  Cheng was in search of the threesome up the road, a threesome that would soon be spat out the back of the charging pack.

As beautiful as the towns along the breathtaking lake may be, the teams of the sprinters had to get on with the work at hand.  There would be time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings at the end of the day.  The race would finish in a new country, Switzerland, in the town of Lugano on yet another glacier fed lake.

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, www.richesonart.com.  This painting, and all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD plus shipping, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is a one of a kind original painting, so don't delay.  When it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560566---184157/Painting.html#.VWagpPlViko

Giro Stage 17: Just a Tap

Today's early break was most certainly doomed to fail.  The 98th Giro d'Italia has offered very few opportunities for the true sprinters to shine, even with the uncategorized climbs at the end of the stage, today was one of those for the fast men of the peloton.  Never the less, nothing ventured, nothing gained.  The trio of Marco Bardiera (Androni Giocattoli), Giacomo Berlato (Nippo Vini Fantini) and Lijo Keisse (Etixx Quickstep) were working well together pushing their advantage out to around two minutes over the peloton.  Bardiera is reaching out to tap Berlato, moving the Nippo Vini Fantini rider into the pace line ahead of him, rather than letting him drop to the back of the trio.  It wasn't that Bardiera didn't want to do his share, instead, he was waiting of his team car to pull up along side for a wee chat.

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, www.richesonart.com.  This painting, and all of my cycling art, is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting for only $50 USD plus shipping, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is a one of a kind original painting, so don't delay.  When it is gone, it is gone.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2560564---184157/Painting.html#.VWaeD_lViko

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Giro Stage 16: Embracing the Victory

Make that two wins in a row for Mikel Landa (Astana).  Admittedly there was a rest day inbetween, but that only makes the back to back mountain top solo wins all the more significant.  Landa had spent the majority of the penultimate climb holding himself back in support of his team leader, Fabio Aru.  However, Aru's valiant sufferfest left the wearer of the Maglia Blanco finishing almost three minutes behind his teammate.  That time gap means that Landa moves ahead of his teammate into second overall.  However, that second place is just over four minutes behind the incredible Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo).  Contador his so far ahead of Landa, that he could afford to be generous to Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL Jumbo) in thanks for the Dutchman's assistance in putting time into everyone else behind him on GC (excepting Landa, of course).

Now the question for Astana, is Landa now the team leader or do they continue to work for Aru?  Furthermore, do they have any chance of unseating the outstanding Spaniard?

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 4"x6" painting is available from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular art work for $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559996---184157/Painting.html#.VWUaJflViko

Giro Stage 16: Trading Blows

Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL Jumbo) has been in numerous breakaways that have made it to the finish ahead of the peloton, but has yet to get the elusive Grand Tour stage victory.  Today he was the only one who could hang with the Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) and Mikel Landa (Astana) duo.  In fact, he led the trio over the crest of the Passo del Mortirolo to pull himself into second in the King of the Mountains competition.  As they climbed toward the finale in Aprica, first Contador, then Kruijswijk attacked the others.  But it was the attack by Mikel Landa that stuck leaving the others struggling to catch his fast disappearing wheel.  I admit that I am jumping ahead, but in thanks for all of the work that the Dutchman had done on the last two climbs, Contador let the Kruijswijk claim second at the line.  With the second place finish on a mountain top finish, the Dutchman had amassed enough KOM points on the day to pull on the Maglia Azure of the King of the Mountains.  Contador had now put another two minutes into the Maglia Blanco of Fabio Aru (Astana).

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 4"x6" painting is available from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular art work for $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559992---184157/Painting.html#.VWUXQflViko

Giro Stage 16: Tifosi

Once Fabio Aru (Astana) knew that the big gamble attack didn't succeed, I think his heart's ability to suffer went away from him like the fleeing Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo).  He knew that his teammate, Mikel Landa, had been sitting in trying to help him.  Once he folded, he told Landa to go with Contador since Aru could not.  Andrey Amador (Movistar) joined the fading Aru and the pair did the best they could sloughing up the sometimes 18% climb and fighting their way through the over zealous fans.

Many cycling fans will spend the night to ensure a great position on the monumental climbs of the Grand Tours.  Unfortunately, there isn't much to do while they wait but drink.  So when the struggling racers arrive, the tifosi can be more of a hindrance than an encouragement as they run alongside in oft bizarre costumes, screaming in the ears of those on the limit of their abilities.  Other fans more interested in the photo op than the racers' being able to have a clear path, will jump into the road after the escorting motorcycles pass and snap pictures and selfies.  It may be a souvenir of the race, but it can also be a souvenir of their own arrogance or stupidity.

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 4"x6" painting is available from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular art work for $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559990---184157/Painting.html#.VWUUSvlViko

Giro Stage 16: With Authority

First, I can't believe that BeIn Sports went to commercial just as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) caught up to the Astana duo of Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa!  Who thought that was a good idea.  So I have know idea if the Maglia Rosa said anything about the attack in the valley.  But I do know that the Spaniard let his legs do the talking.  He didn't even slow when he caught his quarry.  Prior to Contador's arrival, Landa had obviously been holding back to keep his team leader on his wheel.  Aru was suffering.  As was Yury Trofimov (Katusha), it was his GC placement that set first Katusha on the offensive and prompt Astana to chase across the valley, so Contador had no interest in letting any of these guys catch his wheel.

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 4"x6" painting is available from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular art work for $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559988---184157/Painting.html#.VWUQ8_lViko

Giro Stage 16: Left to Do It Himself

A rather pissed off Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) hit the bottom of the formidable Passo del Mortirolo without any teammates for support.  Tinkoff Saxo had burned through the entire team chasing the Astana led escapees.  The Maglia Rosa hit the climb a full minute down on Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa (Astana) and the pair seemed to be pulling away from the isolated Contador.  However they had not taken into account the effects of anger and adrenaline.  As I pointed out, it is considered bad form to attack the race leader when he has had a mechanical (or even a crash), so if Contador was able to catch the Astana duo, no quarter would be given.  Try as they might, Benat Intxausti (Movistar), Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge) and Darwin Atapuma (BMC) were not able to hold the wheel of the possessed Contador.

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 4"x6" painting is available from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular art work for $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559984---184157/Painting.html#.VWUOlvlViko

Giro Stage 16: Taking Advantage

Astana hit the front of the peloton as soon as they realized that Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) was off the back of the group.  The professional peloton has a long tradition of not attacking the race leader when they have a mechanical problem.  Apparently, Contador had a flat tire on the previous descent so Astana saw their chance to gain time on the Maglia Rosa for their top riders, Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa.  Astana had the opportunity to hide behind the excuse that Katusha had already put in an acceleration that jeopardized Landa's position on the GC.  After race interviews revealed that Astana knew exactly what was going on behind and decide to not respect the age old tradition.

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 4"x6" painting is available from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular art work for $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559978---184157/Painting.html#.VWULnflViko

Giro Stage 16: Across the Valley Floor

As the peloton descended from the eventual finishing town of Aprica it split into several smaller groups.  Most importantly, this group containing Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) was falling behind two main groups ahead that contained most of his rivals.  Tacked onto the back of the Contador group is the Finnish National Champion, Jussi Veikkanen (FDJ).

The men in spandex were far to concerned with the events on the road to take in the near breath taking views.  Instead they were pitted in a breath ravaging scramble to catch up with those leading on the road.  On a side note, the course of the Giro d'Italia is marked out with the arrows on a pink field like the one this group is racing pass.  Most times, the fans lining the sides of the road make it virtually impossible to make a wrong turn.

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 4"x6" painting is available from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular art work for $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559970---184157/Painting.html#.VWUJcflViko

Giro Stage 16: Off on His Own

Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin) used his descending skills to leave his breakaway companions and head off on his own.  The Canadian but two minutes between himself and the rest of those on the road as he climbed up to Aprica for the first time.  The course took the peloton through the early ski town before swinging back down to the valley and up the biggest climb of the Giro.  The competitors would then drop back off of the Passo del Mortirolo before climbing back up to Aprica for the second time.  This time their long day of five categorized would be over.  Along the road various race sponsors will set up inflatable advertisements like this one celebrating the bike saddle company, Selle Italia.

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 4"x6" painting is available from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular art work for $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559962---184157/Painting.html#.VWUG7_lViko

Giro Stage 16: Working Their Way Up

It was certain that there would be an early breakaway.  The sixteenth stage of the 98th Giro d'Italia started with a 14 kilometer climb to the top of Campo Carlo Magno.  This rather large group got away from the peloton on the climb and then pressed on on the descent.  Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin) led the group that included Przemyslaw Niemiee (Lampre), Brent Bookwalter (BMC) and Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani CSF) among others.  Hesjedal has been showing all that he gets stronger and stronger as a Grand Tour enters the final week.  The riders faced rather cold and wet conditions, but nothing like the snow storms that have plagued the Giro in the previous two years.  That was by design, the race has stayed below the snow line, although just barely today.

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 4"x6" painting is available from my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular art work for $50 USD, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  And yes, international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559958---184157/Painting.html#.VWUE1vlViko

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Giro Stage 15: Able to Fly Free

The Gruppo Maglia Rosa kept shucking riders as they neared Madonna Di Campiglio.  For the last couple of kilometers the group came down to race leader, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo), the wearer of the white jersey and second place rider, Fabio Aru (Astana), his teammate Mikel Landa and Yury Trofimov (Katusha).  Each of the men took turns attacking the other three, each time Landa got a gap, he would then wait for his team leader, Fabio Aru.  As the other three started looking at each other, Trofimov sprung his final effort to claim the stage.  With just 500 meters to go, it look liked the Russian had pulled it off, until Landa was given the okay to go for the stage, leaving Aru behind.  Landa had the legs to drop everyone and spread his arms wide in a joyous victory salute.  Trofimov held on for second and Contador grabbed some more bonus seconds beating Aru across the line to claim the final podium spot.  Landa's victory moved him up on the general classification presenting another Astana rider to challenge the Pink Jersey.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from Jack Richeson & Company.  They are a small family run art supply company that have incredible quality art supplies.  You can find them on the web at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  All of my small cycling watercolors are $50 USD plus shipping (including international shipping), including this one.  While you are at the website, why not take the time to look at all of the artwork on offer?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559476---184157/Painting.html#.VWKIxvlViko

Giro Stage 15: Hunting Alone

Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin) apparently got frustrated with the slow pace of the chasing group that was two minutes behind the Gruppo Maglia Rosa.  He sprang out of the group of chasers and went off alone in hopes of catching those up the road.  At this point on the long straightaway he can just see them making the sweeping right turn.  Hesjedal is not having the best of Giro's, certainly not coming close to his overall victory in 2012.  Sadly, this is as close as the Canadian got to the Maglia Rosa both the wearer or perhaps the chance of wearing it.

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.  They are a small family run art supply company that have incredible quality art supplies.  You can find them on the web at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  All of my small cycling watercolors are $50 USD plus shipping (including international shipping), including this one.  While you are at the website, why not take the time to look at all of the artwork on offer?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559470---184157/Painting.html#.VWKEk_lViko

Giro Stage 15: Visiting the Doctor

Amongst the members of the following caravan is the all important Medical Assistance car.  Those that are suffering from both new wrecks and old ones alike can drop back to visit the doctor while tooling along at 40 kilometers an hour.  The descent off of the Passo Daone was fast, twisting and narrow.  One of the especially tight turns was further constricted by a rather foolish reporter and motorcycle driver who stopped on the road surface in order to broadcast a mid race report.  Several riders went down trying to avoid the fools, most notably Damiano Caruso (BMC) who dived head first into the soft dirt.  While I didn't see Igor Anton (Movistar) go down, I assume he was one of those who had difficulty negotiating the narrow descent.  One of the common methods of treatment is the 'magical spray' that is both disinfectant and numbing agent that will tend to the immediate symptoms of the crash and help prevent infection.

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.  They are a small family run art supply company that have incredible quality art supplies.  You can find them on the web at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  All of my small cycling watercolors are $50 USD plus shipping (including international shipping), including this one.  While you are at the website, why not take the time to look at all of the artwork on offer?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559468---184157/Painting.html#.VWKCSflViko

Giro Stage 15: Nearing the Summit

These three, Kanstanstin Siutsu (Sky), Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) and Hubert Dupont (AG2R) slipped off the front of the dimished break away and set about the second climb of the day up the Passo Daone.  The trio had gotten annoyed with Sergio Palinho (Tinkoff Saxo) and Diego Rosa (Astana) sitting on, not contributing to the effort of escaping the peloton.  Giovanni now has to try and grab the maximum King of the Mountains points to help defend his teammate, Benat Intxuasti's lead in the KOM competition.  Siutsu is hoping to redeem the aspirations of his team with the collapse of their leader, Richie Porte.  However, only Team Sky would be moaning about how bad their Grand Tour is going when they have won two stages and have a man in the top ten overall.

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.  They are a small family run art supply company that have incredible quality art supplies.  You can find them on the web at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  All of my small cycling watercolors are $50 USD plus shipping (including international shipping), including this one.  While you are at the website, why not take the time to look at all of the artwork on offer?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559452---184157/Painting.html#.VWJ-oPlViko

Giro Stage 15: Into a Long Dark Tunnel

The most recent man to join the continuously swelling breakaway was the Italian Sergio Palinho (Tinkoff Saxo).  He had bridged across from the peloton mainly as an insurance policy for the Tinkoff Saxo leader, Alberto Contador.  As Paulinho slide onto the back of the break as Diego Rosa (Astana) was discussing the teams alternatives on besting the strong and talented Contador.  Benat Intxausti (Movistar) had zipped down the first mountain and looked well positioned to achieve his goal of securing his hold on the blue of the King of the Mountains jersey.  As the group road across the valley floor, they passed through several tunnels carved through the steep foothills of the Dolomites.

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.  They are a small family run art supply company that have incredible quality art supplies.  You can find them on the web at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  All of my small cycling watercolors are $50 USD plus shipping (including international shipping), including this one.  While you are at the website, why not take the time to look at all of the artwork on offer?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559448-218-216-184157/Painting/Sports.html#.VWJ6k_lViko

Giro Stage 15: Securing Azure

Benat Intxausti (Movistar) bedecked in the Azure Blue King of the Mountains Jersey jumped out of the large breakaway on the climb up La Fricca, along with his teammate, Giovanni Visconti and a previous stage winner, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha),  Intxausti had hit the breakaway fulling intending to be the first to reach the top of all three of the climbs that faced those remaining in the 98th Giro de Italia.  By summiting the climb up to La Fricca, he could chalk off the first of the three catagorized climbs of stage 15.  With the return of the sun, the fans came back out in droves to watch their heroes struggle up the climbs that they have all strained to climb on their own bicycles.

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.  They are a small family run art supply company that have incredible quality art supplies.  You can find them on the web at www.richesonart.com.  This painting is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To buy this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  All of my small cycling watercolors are $50 USD plus shipping (including international shipping), including this one.  While you are at the website, why not take the time to look at all of the artwork on offer?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Giro%20d%20Italia/2559370---184157/Painting.html#.VWJlI_lViko