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The Tour this year has been remarkable in new achievements and exciting moments, especially for the French cyclists who have come to the forefront in winning stages and holding the yellow jersey. The script I had drafted disappeared so I'm going to post a few photos with captions. This next week should have spectacular scenery and is projected to be the most difficult final week in the history of the Tour. There has been a different stage winner through Stage 15 when Simon Yates got his 2nd win -- this hasn't happened in the last 25 years!
I created two paintings from photos I shot while streaming the Tour and they are shown below. They are both 8x8 watercolor on paper and will be either matted/framed to 13x13 or sealed and put in a floater frame. I'm looking forward to painting a few more before the tour ends.
The photos above were taken while streaming the Tour de France during stages 2 and 3.
I really had to share the top left photo of Mark Cavendish with the young man who tweeted Mark saying he would like to ride with him since he wasn't chosen by his team to ride in the Tour de France. Mark is the kind of man who took him up on the offer!
I love the team time trials because of the importance of the "team" in order to win. It reminds me of the sport of swimming when you are on a relay and the points you get by swimming on a relay and how those points affect the team who wins the event. The helmets and bikes are designed for ultimate efficiency and streamlining over the 17 miles in this year's course. Since Luke won Stage 1 their team went last (middle top photo). Team INECO (formerly Sky) was in first place a good portion of the day and thought they had it won, but the excitement of their team wearing the yellow jersey carried over to the entire team and they ended up with the fastest time of the day (middle row left photo).
I wanted to show you a couple photos from Stage 3 - Luke was wearing the ;yellow jersey and wasn't expected to be wearing it at the end of the stage. (middle photo middle row). At the start of Stage 3 you see him and the other jersey winners lined up at the front of the cyclists waiting for the start of the race. There was an expectation that Anaphilippe might win this stage -- and he did (bottom left). He had a handshake from Eddie Merckz at the start--hmmm. He had a great ride and left no doubt he was at the Tour to ride into Paris.
The middle bottom photo is of Le Moulin de Verzenay in the middle of France's champagne growing region. It is the last surviving 19th Century grain mill on the windswept Mont Rizan. The mill served as an observation post in the 1914-18 war and as an observation post for the American army in 1944.
Ruinart is the oldest established Champagne house, exclusively producing champagne since 1729 and one lucky commentator got to give us a visit there. Impressive area with mile after mile of vineyards.
Back to painting and my course........ have a nice day -- hope you enjoy the sport of cycling and the Tour de France.
Well this morning around 2:00 AM Pacific time the Tour de France (TdF) started in Belgium with Stages 1 and 2.
There are several key reasons why this Tour will be important. First, the yellow jersey will be awarded to the overall winner for the 100th time. The Tour will celebrate the 50th anniversary of five-time winner Eddy Merckx’s first victory. The race began with him dropping the start flag from the Director's car. Paul Sherwan passed away last December and will be greatly missed as one of the key commentators of this event. Phil Liggett and Bob Roll will be doing the honors. In the studio after the stage Christian VanDerVeer and Chris Horner (from Bend) who retired this year from cycling will head up the analysis following each stage. Bradley Wiggins, 2012 winner of the Tour is riding along on one of the motorbikes and will be delivering podcasts throughout. I also enjoy Jens Voigt's analysis out on the road during the race.
Several key faces will not be in the tour this year due to injuries in previous tours: Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin. Mark Cavendish was not selected to be one of the seven from his team. Stage 1 wasn't expected to have as many exciting moments or crashes and a photo finish with a surprise winner. Jakob Fuglsang, one of the top cyclists expected to do well, crashed but managed to hang on to finish. It was unknown whether his injuries will allow is return. Dylan Groenewegen was favored to win Stage 1 but crashed within the last 3 miles of the race so his teammate decided to go for the win. Geraint Thomas hit the footing of a barrier but wasn't injured.
Sagan and Teunissen sprinted to a photo image with only a few cm giving the win to Teunissen. The first cyclist from Holland to win a stage in 30+ years. The final miles of the stage come back into Brussels and it reminded me of when they return to Paris -- in and out of the tunnel (but only once here). I liked the pink hat being thrust out near the finish line.
I always get tempted to paint scenery, castles and churches when I watch the Tour. I always hope to catch come fans doing something interesting with a cyclist in view of them. I love to paint the shadows of the bikes. I have developed some favorites over the years and Peter Sagan is one of my favorite. The sprint finishes are my favorite in capturing the effort and strain on their faces. There are several new young cyclists who emerged in the tours leading up to the TdF. I'll be watching for them to win a few stages.
I always want to give them as much publicity as I can because it is a grueling sport. My husband, brother, and cousin all are hooked on riding local races. We had hoped to get to France so they could ride some of the same routes on the Tour but so far health issues haven't allowed us that wonderful trip.
If you were collecting cycling art, what kind of paintings would you prefer? cyclists riding, scenery with cyclists, portraits of yellow jersey winners - please comment if you have a preference.
Sharing my paintings with others is one of the joys in my life. Educating others about how I paint and the media I use is very important and why I wanted to reach out through this blog. Hope you will add a comment about what you see.