There’s no shadow of a doubt that the cycling season is a momentous occasion with many nail-biting moments. Starting with Giro d’Italia, Tour De France, La Vuelta a España and Tour Of Britain…
I love watching cycling, much like the millions of other fans out there I lap up the excitement, the ups’ and downs’ the trials and tribulations each cyclist has to face throughout a race. To keep those memories alive, I very often found myself browsing the internet looking for those historic moments I remember seeing on the TV, so I can recreate them in my art!
These are some of my favourite fiery moments from the world’s greatest races, I thought I would share them with you. With leads as large as 49 seconds thwarted by the hard work and the effort of the other cyclists, there are so many excellent moments in cycling and it’s hard to remember them all…
Paintings With A Twist
When it comes to choosing a moment to paint, I review hours of footage looking for the perfect mix of emotion and the settings to bring the piece together, allowing each painting to tell its very own story…
Using gloss paint as the base of my paintings I slowly drip it off of my palette knife onto the surface allowing the paint to run free and take its own journey just like each and every cyclist in the race, expressing their freedom and agility in moving…
Once the gloss paint has dried and finished creating its story, I delicately add colour using acrylic paint to add extra detail into the picture to really portray the current situation in the painting, bring it to life. If it is showing the movement around a corner, the determination on their face as they climb a steep hill or even their incredible strength, I make it my job to ensure it’s shown in the painting:
I took it upon myself to capture each and every exciting moment. Be it a lone cyclist breaking out from the peloton or the sheer look of relief on their faces as they pass the finish line…
Burnt out, fed up, after countless rides through steep terrains to build stamina…
The dynamics of the race are ever-changing: a player releases the energy he’d been saving for the end, overtaking the racer in the lead. His determination roars from the scene while he burns through all the energy he has left to win.
The sweltering heat of a Spanish summer puts even more pressure on the cyclists. Dripping with sweat, these racers still push on, proving their love for the sport is as strong as the sunshine.
Tour De France
Celebrating the event which brutally shapes stamina and resistance… Tour de France
This year Tour De France set off from Brest, a maritime town in Brittany, France. This is a culmination of the cyclists hard months of training, preparing them for an even harder challenge of a race.
Spectator Causes Entire Peloton To Crash At Tour de France
This was an unforgettable day in this year’s TDF. The first stage of this year’s TDF will go down in history with the epic crash. Nearly all of the peloton was wiped out when Tony Martin (Jumbo-Visma) collided with a sign held by the fan, sparking a mass pile-up on Stage 1!
Accidents are inevitable…
Being a rider in Tour de France is challenging due to the long track and accidents that occur are often because of fans who attempt to photograph the cyclists.
“…my shoulder collided with a fan. It’s funny – these things happen at 25 miles an hour and it’s almost like slow-motion replay in my mind. My shoulder came into contact with the lens of an SLR camera. I remember seeing the camera go – I hit the lens of the camera, and he had it up to his face. This guy must have had a broken nose. He ended up in a ditch.” – Dan Martin
What the participants focus on tends to be the track and getting to a destination on time. However, eager photographers on the sides of the road don’t always think about the speed of the riders or the consequences of getting in the way of one.
Another issue with the tour is the psychological fatigue and mental blockade one gets due to lack of privacy and constant stress. Once the mind is exhausted the body finds it hard to carry on. The absence of free time, constant media coverage, and scrutiny make the atmosphere tense and dishearten some participants. That’s where you get accidents, fatigue is a huge cause of them.
“It’s the mental stress, that’s what sets it apart from any of the other stage races” – Alex Dowsett
The foreboding feeling of self-doubt that accompanies a cyclist in the tour can be and often is a huge setback. The company of other people is a blessing, they share your struggles with you. You can motivate each other without the use of words at all. But how does one survive such a tough month?
Well, I have a good example:
“Of course it’s a lot of concentration you need to have. You need adaptation and experience to handle the pressure and that situation… If you can’t handle that, it takes you down.” – Fabian Cancellara
Chris Froome with the triple crown
Britain should be proud of Chris Froome. Here, the Tour de France and La Vuelta winner rockets up from 60th to sixth place on the World Tour rankings – and isn’t afraid to show us how happy he is.
He made it out of only six participants. His destiny was turned upside down during 2011 Vuelta a España he finished second.
He rode the 2012 Tour de France along with first-ever British and Team Sky winner Bradley Wiggins and also finished second. He pulled out on stage 5 with a broken wrist after two crashes. The nickname of his early years as a competitive cyclist was “crash Froome”. Since he came of age in 2013, the equation of the Tour de France seems simple: Froome either crashes or wins.
The strength of Team Sky has been a key factor, which is nothing new. There’s no room for improvisation in their process but interestingly, Froome followed his instinct to take power in an unconventional but efficient way in the downhill of Peyresourde. He combined forces with Peter Sagan to show his physical superiority on the flattish and windy roads leading to Montpellier whereas he was widely expected to dominate the Tour in the uphill finishes once again.
Would you try it?
It was difficult up the steep mountain tracks. Stage 15 was a force to be reckoned with. As much as it is exhausting and a strain at times, it is worth it for the guaranteed feeling of immense accomplishment at the final 21st stage at Champs-Élysées.
The event for which you work all year is completely different to any other race, it is also what led to 2 fractures in one of the participants…
Some have described it as quite brutal, a month of burnout and… fun?
After four months of scrutiny, pressure and physical fatigue the cyclists still go back to future events of Tour de France, it is almost addicting.
The satisfaction of finishing the race at the last stage is rewarding and outweighs the mental stress during the chase to the finish line.
“You’re under this intense scrutiny… psychologically, it isn’t so much the physical effort. It’s the concentration that’s required to sustain yourself for four weeks and survive in this environment.” – Dan Martin
Slovenia’s Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) took home the yellow jersey as the overall winner of the 2021 Tour de France. The 22-year-old finished safely in the peloton at the end of Stage 21 on Sunday in Paris, successfully defending his title in last year’s race.
Tour of Britain 2019
I bring to you all the way from the starting line of Tour of Britain 2019 in Glasgow, on that cold Saturday morning through to the finish line in Manchester, all the exciting moments in the form of art:
Spoiler warning, and congratulations!
I would like to share a massive congratulations to the winner of the Tour of Britain, Mathieu Van Der Poel. What an athlete you are, conquering each and every challenge imaginable to come out on top, completely well deserved!
Also a huge congratulations to Jacob Scott (King of Mountains Title), Matt Holmes (Best British Rider), Matteo Trentin (Cetaphil points jersey), Rory Townsend (Eisberg sprints jersey) and Dylan van Baarle (Wahooligan combativity award)!
And of course, a huge thank you extends to everyone who took part, you all played a vital role in providing such an amazing experience and exciting experience! I will try my best to capture each and every moment!
Images Used In This Post
Cyclists, runners, rock climbers, golfers and rugby players are among the selection of Limited Edition Prints and Original Art that you can discover on my Etsy store. You might just find the inspiration you are looking for! Take a look.
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Your stories are just special. If there’s one you’d want to keep, a hand-made custom art piece can capture your memories forever. Consider a commissioned piece of art, unique to you!
Perhaps you’ve run a marathon, cycled Land’s End to John O’ Groats, climbed Kilamanjaro, or you just jog around your local park!
Whatever your level, you got involved in sports because you wanted to improve yourself, enjoy yourself and achieve the best, didn’t you?
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