Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tour Stage 15: One for the Sprinters

Even with the TV announcers and myself rooting for the two men of the break away, it turned out to be the day for the sprinters that all had expected it to be.  Alexandrer Kristoff (Katusha) had the legs to best the rest and claim his second stage win and the third for the team.  He beat out Henrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) and the perpetual bridesmaid, Peter Sagan (Cannondale).  The others that stormed by Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp) also included, Mark Renshaw (OPQS) and Bryan Coquard (Europcar).  Bauer was so close to winning the stage ahead of the sprinters that he still managed tenth on the stage.  The poor guy collapse after crossing the line, dejected and exhausted for a long, long break that almost was.  Noticeably absent from the finale was the fast man for Giant Shimano, Marcel Kittel.  The painting will appear along with all of my 101st Tour de France paintings into my soon to be self published cycling art book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your own copy, or to discover how you can become involved in bringing the 2014 Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous incentives for those who choose to back this projects, rewards start at just $5 USD, and you can get an artist signed copy for only $25 USD, any amount contributed will get your name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book, even for just a $1 pledge.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but you know you want a copy of this visual treasure of the Tour, too.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405594---199992/Painting.html#.U8yPgsvD_IU

Tour Stage 15: Maybe, Just Maybe


Inside of the final kilometer of the run into Nimes, the break away of Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp) and Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) was still off of the front.  As long as the pair didn't play around with trying to be the one at the rear when it was time to sprint, they actually had a chance to get to the line before those at full flight behind got to the line.  This sport can be very cruel in the most widely varied ways, and this Tour seems to want to show us every one.  The duo had been off of the front of the race since the opening kilometers and where still out there with one half of one kilometer out of the entire 222 kilometer stage to go.  For them not to get to fight it out for the stage victory would just be too cruel.  But then it is a cruel and heartless sport, performed by men of great heart.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting will appear along with all of my 101st Tour de France paintings into my soon to be self published cycling art book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your own copy, or to discover how you can become involved in bringing the 2014 Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous incentives for those who choose to back this projects, rewards start at just $5 USD, and you can get an artist signed copy for only $25 USD, any amount contributed will get your name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book, even for just a $1 pledge.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but you know you want a copy of this visual treasure of the Tour, too.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405592---199992/Painting.html#.U8yLEcvD_IU

Tour Stage 15: Flurries of Attacks

The peloton had managed to stay together until the reached the edges of Nimes with the rather unusual exception that the two man break was still off of the front and seemingly not very willing to be caught.  As they swung around the traffic furniture, opportunistic riders kept trying their luck at getting away.  Niki Terpstra (OPQS) drove hard to catch up with Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff Saxo) as Peter Sagan (Cannondale) drove on the peloton in hopes of riding them all off of his wheel.  Sagan is still searching for his first stage win in this Tour although he has proven his ownership of the most consistent sprinter's Green Jersey having finished in the top five in all but the mountain top finish thus far.  Bennati had the misfortune of puncturing and had to pull off from his chance of a win.  With Bennati unable to continue Terpstra's chance were rather reduced.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting will appear along with all of my 101st Tour de France paintings into my soon to be self published cycling art book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your own copy, or to discover how you can become involved in bringing the 2014 Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous incentives for those who choose to back this projects, rewards start at just $5 USD, and you can get an artist signed copy for only $25 USD, any amount contributed will get your name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book, even for just a $1 pledge.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but you know you want a copy of this visual treasure of the Tour too.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405590---199992/Painting.html#.U8yHy8vD_IU

Tour Stage 15: Half the Road

Team BMC was prepared, if not hoping for a change of direction that would bring the strong winds across the peloton.  As they swung onto the roundabout the whole team hit the front, hard.  Speed and organization is part of the equation to split the peloton the other is to use the leeward half of the road, allowing only the team to get the advantage of the slipstream.  With strong side winds, each ride rides at a forty five degree angle to the man in front, like a flying vee of a flock of geese.  If it is done correctly, the last man in line for the team is on the very edge of the road, thus providing no shelter for the other teams.  In this way, huge gaps can open if riders miss the wheel in front and half to push into the wind on their own.  Ever vigilant, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) saw the move forming and sprinted up to the line of BMC.  He left his team behind, but he wasn't about to let Tejay van Garderen gain any time on this stage either.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting will appear along with all of my 101st Tour de France paintings into my soon to be self published cycling art book, "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your own copy, or to discover how you can become involved in bringing the 2014 Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some fabulous incentives for those who choose to back this projects, rewards start at just $5 USD, and you can get an artist signed copy for only $25 USD, any amount contributed will get your name printed on the Special Thanks page of the book, even for just a $1 pledge.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post, but you know you want a copy of this visual treasure of the Tour too.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405572---199992/Painting.html#.U8yC4cvD_IU

Tour Stage 15: On the Straight & Wide

With a long, basically downhill stage, this one was marked as one for the sprinters.  The wide, straight, open roads should help the peloton judge the capture of the break away to perfection.  It should therefore be another day that will go to script with the only possible deviations coming if the legendary Mistral winds of southern France.  Strong cross winds can have the same effect on the peloton has any category one mountain, splitting the riders apart and causing huge time gaps.  So it was that the peloton let this two man break of Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) and Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp) build up an eight minute lead, the peloton confident that they could be caught at will. 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 from the 101st Tour de France will appear in my soon to be self published collection in "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can become part of bringing the 2014 Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some very nice rewards for those who choose to back this project, they all include your name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book, and various levels include an artist signed copy of the book, original art and/or printed postcards.  The book is available for any pledge of support at $25 USD and above.  If you would rather just purchase this particular painting follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you want to have all of the paintings in a book, too?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405562---199992/Painting.html#.U8x998vD_IU

Tour Stage 15: Lanterne Rouge

The Lanterne Rouge is the last man in the overall standings of the Tour de France, so Ji Cheng (Giant Shimano) has both the dubious honor of being the last man on the General Classification and the true honor of being the first to represent China in the Tour.  There is no shame in being the last man, Cheng, who has been dubbed the break away killer, has the job of going to the front of the peloton and pulling the hold group along for kilometer after kilometer.  He will ride on the front until he can't produce another watt of power.  He then pulls off the front and gets to the end of the day as best as he can.  At the other end of the peloton, his teammate Marcel Kittel has the chance to get another of his stage wins do the efforts of Cheng.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  The painting was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This work and all of my paintings from the 101st Tour de France will appear in my soon to be self published collection in "Book de Tour."  To learn more about the book project, to pre order your copy, or to discover how you can become part of bringing the 2014 Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some very nice rewards for those who choose to back this project, they all include your name in print on the Special Thanks page of the book, and various levels include an artist signed copy of the book, original art and/or printed postcards.  The book is available for any pledge of support at $25 USD and above.  If you would rather just purchase this particular painting follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you want to have all of the paintings in a book, too?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405532-114-108-199992/Painting/Sports.html#.U8x66MvD_IU

Tour Stage 14: Stuck on the Italian's Wheel

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) jumped from the shrunken peloton of the GC contenders on the final climb, his attack was so vicious on the steepest section that only one man, Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R) was able to hold the Italian's wheel.  Nibali tried repetitively to dropped the Frenchman, to no avail, Peraud was stuck on his wheel.  The pair tried in vain to catch Rafal Majka (Tinkoff Saxo) who still had a minute on them at the one kilometer to go banner.  They were gaining time on the rest of the men in the remnants of the peloton.  While Tejay van Garderen (BMC) he was not able to catch up to the pair, but he too would be leaving the Alps in a much higher position that before the mountains loomed on the horizon.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  This painting and all of my 2014 Tour de France watercolors will be included in my soon to be 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 the 101st Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some really excellent incentives to get you involved starting for as little as $5 USD, all include domestic (USA) shipping and international shipping is available.  Any Backer regardless of the amount - yes, that includes a $1 USD pledge - will have their name included in print on the Special Thanks page of the book.  If you would like to purchase this painting, just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  But wouldn't you want to have the book as well?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405422-113-108-199992/Painting/Sports.html#.U8w1qM_D_IU

Tour Stage 14: Tejay Counters

With the summit of the last climb in the Alps in site, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) jumped out of the French led peloton, trying to catch the wheel of the already fleeing Vincenzo Niblai (Astana).  After his move, Tejay van Garderen (BMC) counter the attacks of the Spaniard and the Italian.  The American, van Garderen, wasn't going to let the two highest place men on the GC put anymore time into him if he could help it.  As van Garderen came up beside Valverde, the Movistar leader looked over to see who had caught him.  The American kept up the pressure and try as he might, Valverde couldn't hold onto the wheel of van Garderen.  Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Romain Bardet (AG2R), now glued together, quickly saw that Valverde was cracking, and went after his second place in the GC with a vengeance.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com and it will appear 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 to become involved in bringing the 101st Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some wonderful backer rewards all of which include the Backers name in print on the Special Thanks Page of the book.  Other incentives include an artist signed book, pins, original art, and a few lucky signed copies, signed by whomever wins this Tour de France.  If you would rather just purchase this particular painting, please follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you rather have a copy of "Book de Tour" too?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405276---199992/Painting.html#.U8vxSs_D_IU

Tour Stage 14: A French Led Peloton

The French are having their best Tour de France in years.  It has been a long, long time since they have had two riders in the top five, they even have the potential to have two guys on the podium in Paris.  With the hopes of a third stage win for their country, and a continuation of the battle for White and best French rider, the final climb towards Risoul, was led by four Frenchmen from three different teams.  The Italian, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was paying close attention, watching for an attack that could threaten his Yellow Jersey.  Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and his teammate, Arnold Jeannesson had chased back onto Romain Bardet's (AG2R) wheel in the valley and along with Pierre Rolland (Europcar) they all hoped to improve their placings by putting the hurt to the rest of those in the top ten.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  It will appear 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 get involved in helping to bring the art of the 101st Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour   There are some excellent Backer rewards including an artist signed copy, original artwork, pins, postcards and all starting for as little as $5 USD.  Absolutely everyone who backs the project at any level will have their name included in print on the special thanks page of the book.  If you would like to purchase this particular painting, please follow the direct link at the end of this post.  Wouldn't you like to have the book as well?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405266---199992/Painting.html#.U8vtwc_D_IU

Tour Stage 14: Losing Contact

While wearing the red racing bib of most combative rider, Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) was desperate to hold the wheel of the fast climbing Rafal Majka (Tinkoff Saxo).  The pair had dropped the rest of the tatters of the original break away and were off to claim the stage at the summit in Risoul.  Majka was free to use his ability on the high mountains for Tinkoff Saxo and himself now that his team leader, Alberto Contador, had been forced to abandon the Tour with a broken tibia.  The young Polish rider road De Marchi off of his wheel in hopes of claiming the victory for the team and to claim some glory for the disappointed men of Tinkoff Saxo.  The Polish flag waving fan along the side of the hairpin turn knew it was the move that would stick.  This is a small original watercolor and ink painting that is available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com  and it will appear 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 to become involved in bringing the 101st Tour de France to print, please visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1335072134/book-de-tour.  There are some wonderful backer rewards all of which include the Backers name in print on the Special Thanks Page of the book.  Other incentives include an artist signed book, pins, original art, and a few lucky signed copies, signed by whomever wins this Tour de France.  If you would rather just purchase this particular painting, please follow the direct link at the end of this post, but wouldn't you rather have a copy of "Book de Tour" too?

http://www.greigleach.com/large-view/Tour%20de%20France%202014/2405264---199992/Painting.html#.U8vqAM_D_IU