Sunday, April 12, 2015

Paris Roubaix: A Joyful Finish

What happened in the bell lap was what everyone of the riders (except Degenkolb) feared, the strongest sprinter took the sprint out of the six men who contested for the line.  So it was the John Degenkolb (Giant Alpecin) threw his arms in a joyful victory salute, moving one step up the podium from 2014.  Zdenek Stybar (Etixx Quickstep) managed to just hold off Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) to grab second place with the Belgium claim the third step of the podium.  Rounding out this group is Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling), Lars Boom (Astana) and Jens Keukeleire (Orica GreenEdge).  Just finishing this race is a victory, but winning it can make a career.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular watercolor just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about Paris Roubaix with the accompanying artwork, be sure to search out my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It can be found through most every online bookseller around the world.  Google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2541216---195767/Painting.html#.VSsVZPnF-xU

Paris Roubaix: Swinging in to the Velodrome

Etixx Quickstep made the final turn into the Velodrome in Roubaix with the advantage of numbers, I hesitate that they have been in this position before.  It was Yves Lampaert playing the roll of sacrificial domestique for his teammate, Zdenek Stybar.  Swinging in behind the Etixx Quickstep duo is the Belgium favorite, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) follow closely by Lars Boom (Astana) and 3 others.  Paris Roubaix always ends on the Velodrome, a smooth steep banked track after the notorious pave, it must feel like a treasure reward of 750 meters.  Under the velodrome are the other reward, showers for victor and vanquished alike.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular watercolor just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about Paris Roubaix with the accompanying artwork, be sure to search out my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It can be found through most every online bookseller around the world.  Google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2541180---195767/Painting.html#.VSsNc_nF-xU

Paris Roubaix: Stretching His Legs

Oops, I got myself out of order with this post.  This one should have come before "The Next to Go" and after "Waiting on the Train".  Each of the favorites that had remained upright and had made the decisive split had a dig at each other, testing their own legs and those of their rivals.  Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) adorned in his Slovakian National Champion jersey  slipped away from Ian Stannard (Team Sky) and the rest as the winds blew and the cobbles rattled everyone's teeth.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular watercolor just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about Paris Roubaix with the accompanying artwork, be sure to search out my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It can be found through most every online bookseller around the world.  Google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2541158---195767/Painting.html#.VSsFAvnF-xU

Paris Roubaix: Poursuivant

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Yves Lampaert (Etixx Quickstep) had left the grasp of the peloton and it was John Degenkolb (Giant Alpecin) that was the next to go off in search of glory in Roubaix.  Degenkolb has been enjoying great form and some nice additions to his palmares in the early races of the 2015 ProTour season.  This was one rider that the peloton wasn't going to be happy to let go.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular watercolor just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about Paris Roubaix with the accompanying artwork, be sure to search out my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It can be found through most every online bookseller around the world.  Google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2541146---195767/Painting.html#.VSsCqPnF-xU

Paris Roubaix: Finding the Last One

The speed of the peloton would increase with each attack that came out of its ranks.  That speed and the length that the breakaway had been out in front ensured that they would be caught, eventually.  The very last one to succumb to the charging peloton was the Frenchman, Alexis Gougeard (AG2R).  Leading the chase when the catch was made was Borut Bozic (Astana) doing the work for his team's hopeful, Lars Boom.  It was Boom who took the stage last year that included many of these same pave sections, and like Paris Roubaix, finished in the Roubaix Velodrome.  The final catch was made with just 21 kilometers left to race, a valiant effort by Gougeard.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular watercolor just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about Paris Roubaix with the accompanying artwork, be sure to search out my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It can be found through most every online bookseller around the world.  Google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2541140---195767/Painting.html#.VSsAqvnF-xU

Paris Roubaix: The Next to Go

Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) made no secret of his desire to win his final race for his long term team.  Wiggins will move away from road cycling after today and concentrate on returning to the track and the 2016 Summer Olympics.  He will also be working with a new development team that he has created.  Bearing that in mind, it was no surprise to see the former winner of the Tour de France and current World Time Trial Champion strike off in search of the leaders on the road through the blowing dust of the north of France.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular watercolor just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about Paris Roubaix with the accompanying artwork, be sure to search out my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It can be found through most every online bookseller around the world.  Google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2541134---195767/Painting.html#.VSr-gfnF-xU

Paris Roubaix: Waiting on the Train

Professional bike racing is done on the open road.  While the gendarme do all they can to close off the roadways, the trains still have a time schedule to keep.  It seems that every year some group of riders are caught at a railroad crossing as the gates come down across the road.  This year more riders than normal skirted around the gates trying to beat the train, which should call for disqualification.  Instead those that went through as the gates began to close where held by the referee until this group rejoined them.  At least for all involved, it was a TGV bullet train so the wait wasn't long at all.  Not so good for those trying to join back on from behind.  Some of those waiting impatiently included; Julien Morcie (Europcar), Yaroslav Popovych (Trek Factory Racing) and Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale Garmin).

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular watercolor just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about Paris Roubaix with the accompanying artwork, be sure to search out my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It can be found through most every online bookseller around the world.  Google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2541132---195767/Painting.html#.VSr8XfnF-xU

Paris Roubaix: In the Forest

Only one time every year is this stretch of pave open through the forest of Arenberg.  Well to be fair, it was twice last year since the Tour de France covered the same stretch of cobbles in stage 5.  Since team cars are diverted over the pave sections, team mechanics and soigneurs will stand along the road holding up wheels should their men need them.  At this point the peloton is still 5 minutes behind the break away as they are led through the forest by Lotto Soudal and BMC.  Tucked in behind the domestiques is Peter Sagan (Saxo Tinkoff) in his Slovak National Champion's kit.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular watercolor just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about Paris Roubaix with the accompanying artwork, be sure to search out my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It can be found through most every online bookseller around the world.  Google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2541128---195767/Painting.html#.VSr54vnF-xU

Paris Roubaix: Bumping Along

Mid April means it is time for the "Hell of the North" the fabled, Paris Roubaix.  Over 300 kilometers of racing and 100 of those kilometers are over some of the roughest cobble stones in the world.  This race is so known for those pieces of pave, that the trophy for the winner is a granite cobble stone.  Quite a humble award for such a noble undertaking.  The day had the early breakaway, originally numbering 9 riders that gained 9 minutes on the peloton before the chase began.  This is the back of the break away as the rumble over an early section of pave.  Alexis Gougeard (AG2R) follows Time Declercq (Topsport Vlaanderen) and Alexijs Saramotins (IAM Cycling) amongst the others as the group try and stay away from the favorites and the wantabes behind.

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 small family run art supply business in Wisconsin and have incredible great art making materials.  This painting is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular watercolor just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  International shipping is available.

If you are enjoying reading about Paris Roubaix with the accompanying artwork, be sure to search out my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France".  It can be found through most every online bookseller around the world.  Google the title to discover where you can get a copy and avoid international shipping charges.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2541126---195767/Painting.html#.VSr33fnF-xU

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ronde van Vlaanderen: Winning Big

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) claimed his ninth victory for the 2015 season, it was also the ninth victory for Katusha.  Poor Niki Terpstra (Etixx Quickstep) didn't have the legs to get away from the Norwegian and knew full well he would have very little chance of out sprinting the fast man from Katusha.  Terpstra had ridden very smart forcing his rival to stay on the front for the final two kilometers, but even that didn't weaken the on-form Kristoff.  The pair were also smart enough not to play to much cat and mouse strategies knowing full well that Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo) were riding as hard as they could less than half of a minute behind.

This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  Just follow the direct link at the end of this post to purchase this piece of original art for only $50 USD.  And yes, international shipping is available.

If you are enjoying discovering bike racing through my writings and paintings be sure to search out my recently published, "Book de Tour - Art of the 101st Tour de France"   Just google the title to find it through your local online bookseller.  It is available world wide so you should be able to avoid international shipping.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2538080---195767/Painting.html#.VSMlv_nF-xU