Saturday, March 25, 2017

E3 Harlebeke: The Dash to the Line

As the three off the front came to the line, it was Oliver Naeson (Ag2r La Mondiale) who attacked first.  He had been dropped earlier by his companions, and I am sure he wasn't confident of being able to hold his own against Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Philippe Gilbert (Quickstep).  And as he expected both went around him with just meters left to the line.  It was a true sign of his respect for the others that he sat up and applauded along with the thousands of fans as Greg Van Avermaet won the day,   As Van Avermaet crossed the line, it was Gilbert who reached out and shook the hand of the Olympic Road Race Champion.  As the announcer said, "the riders know to leave the racing to the race" and they all have true respect and admiration for each other.  So it was Van Avermaet taking first, followed by Gilbert and then Naeson finishing out the podium.  Chapeau to all!

My next race I plan to paint will be the revered Paris Roubaix.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2939899-386-195767/PaintingThe%20Dash%20for%20the%20Line%20E317-7.html

E3 Harelbeke: Kop van de Wedstrijd

Kop van de Wedstrijd as best I can understand means the head of the race, at least that is what kept flashing on the screen as they showed the leading group on the road.  This threesome of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Philippe Gilbert (Quickstep) and Oliver Naesen (Ag2r La Mondiale) had over a minute on the remnants of the peloton.  As they road up the penultimate climb, the Oude Kwatrmony, they must be beginning to think that the win would be between themselves.  All three riders are from Belgium, and Gilbert is the reigning Belgium National Champion, so it looks like the drought of Belgium winners will be coming to an end today.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2939896-385-195767/PaintingKop%20van%20de%20Wedstrijd%20E317-6.html

E3 Harelbeke: On the Road, Out of the Race

Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) was one of several riders that got caught out in a small pile up in the front end of the peloton.  One of the many risks on the roads of Belgium are the deep joints of cement that run down the center of many of the smaller roads.  So even when the riders are off of the pave, they still are not out of danger.  Sagan was helped back underway by his teammate, Christoph Pfingsten, as well as an enthusiastic cycling fan on the side of the road.  But he got back underway long after the peloton had sped up the road.  It was amusing to notice that the fan helping Sagan get back underway was wearing a Discovery Team kit - the last kit worn by Lance Armstrong.   Good to know there are still some fans of the Texan out watching cycling in Europe.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2939892-384-195767/PaintingOn%20the%20Road,%20Out%20of%20the%20Race%20E317-5.html

E3 Harelbeke: Pushing the Pace

Now there was a rather powerful group of riders about a minute up the road containing riders like Philippe Gilbert (Quickstep), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and some other contenders.  Left behind, and chasing hard, was Tony Martin in his new Katusha-Alpecin colors.  Close the the UCI Time Trial Champion was the Rainbow Jersey of the Road Champion, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrphe).  Keeping an eye on the pair of rather accomplished riders was Matteo Trentin  (Quickstep).  The peloton is speeding across one of the few flat sections of cobbles, the Mairaborreestaat, leaving just 50 kilometers to race and only three more sections of pave to traverse.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2939886-383-195767/PaintingPushing%20the%20Pace%20E317-4.html

E3 Harelbeke: Hitting Them Hard

It turn out to be the ascent of the Taaienberg where the racing got serious.  It was the five time winner of this race, Tom Boonen (Quickstep) who launched the first serious attack on the peloton.  Qucikly on to the wheel of the big man from Belgium was the Italian, Daniel Oss (BMC).  The pair had gapped the peloton being lead by the World Champion, Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe).  So for the next 70 kilometers, it is time for full on racing.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2939885-382-195767/PaintingHitting%20Them%20Hard%20E317-3.html

Friday, March 24, 2017

E3 Harelbeke: Neutral Service

The cobbles or the avoiding of the cobbles by riding in the ditches on the sides of the road make for a high risk of punctures.  If you combine that with the narrowness of the Belgium roads, a rider can wait a very long time for his team car to help him get going again.  The race organization provides neutral service vehicles that are able to be closer to each group on the road.  The course will split the race apart, spreading the race for tens of kilometers across the back roads of Belgium.  Here, Owain Dull (Sky) has had a wheel change from the Shimano sponsored mechanic and his getting a push to get back underway.  The Sky sprinter has none other than his teammate, Ian Stannard, waiting to help pace him back into the peloton.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2939883-381-195767/PaintingNeutral%20Service%20E317-2.html

E3 Harelbeke: On to the Kruisberg

The race today was being led by a small six man escape that had gotten away at the 60 kilometer mark and they were still away with about 96 kilometers left to race.  The escapees were comprised of Taco Van Der Hoorn (Roompot Nederlandse Loterij), David Per (Bahrain-Merida), Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale), Roger Wagner (LottoNL Jumbo), Laurens De Vreese (Astana) and Christophe Masson (WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect).  They had about four minutes on the chasing peloton as they started up the Oude Krisberg.  E3 Harelbeke is punctuated with short steep cobbled climbs that jar the riders teeth and zap the strength from their legs.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2939881-380-195767/PaintingOn%20to%20the%20Kuisberg%20E317-1.html

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Paris Nice, Final Stage: Anything Left?

This pair, David de la Cruz (Quickstep) and Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) had caught and dropped the flagging Marc Soler (Movistar) and came to the line together for the stage victory.  The vastly more experienced Contador had managed to get de la Cruz to lead the duo onto the final straightaway.  De la Cruz looked back over his shoulder and must have felt that Contador had nothing left for a sprint.  He was right.  De la Cruz took the win on the Promenade des Anglais and the ten second time bonus.  That left a six second bonus for Contador.  Unfortunately for the man who lost the race by four seconds last year, Contador, the Colombian, Sergio Henao (Sky) was able to pull back enough time to end the day holding onto the Maillot Jaune by TWO SECONDS.  In the post race interview, Contador seem almost non-plus about the results.  Perhaps it is his Spanish nature, or just having won every Grand Tour more than once, and this race twice in the past, he just knows what racing is all about.

Thge next race for my paint brushes will be the one day, Milan-San Remo.  So please check back next weekend.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2933009-379-195767/PaintingAnything%20Left?%20PN17-43.html

Paris Nice, Final Stage: Tete de la Course

Marc Soler (Movistar) decided to play the roll of spoiler on the final kilometers into Nice.  Ironically, after refusing to assist Contador in the chase earlier, he called unsuccessfully to get his two remaining escapees to aid in his efforts.  Being denied, he attacked near the summit of the Col d'Eze, taking the KOM points (which mattered little to everyone), and the bonus seconds at the final intermediate sprint.  The sprint bonus seconds hurt Contador's bid for Yellow, leaving him only two seconds gained in d'Eze.  Behind, the group containing the Yellow Jersey was slowly clawing back precious seconds on the three escapes.  Now they were racing for a stage victory and its bonus seconds.  Should Contador take the stage, the 10 bonus seconds, he would most likely be able to claim the final Maillot Jaune.  Right now, that was in the legs of Soler, but Contador had another rival with him, David de la Cruz (Quickstep).

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.

http://www.greigleach.com/large-multi-view/Spring%20Classics%20/2932999-378-195767/PaintingTete%20de%20la%20Course%20PN17-42.html

Paris Nice, Final Stage: Chasing

With the surprise attack of the duo from Trek-Segafredo but the Maillot Jaune of Sergio Henao (Sky) into some serious jeopardy, in fact, at this point Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) was the virtual leader of the race on the road.  Henao had started with a 31 second buffer on the former winner of Paris Nice (and a great deal of other major races), so he need to be very aware of the time splits going forward.  And he needed to pay attention to any bonus seconds Contador may be able to pick up at the intermediate sprint or the finish.  Behind the Maillot Jaune, many were defending their positions and unwilling to assisted the Colombian.  On his wheel was the Basque Jon Izauirre (Bahrain Merida), the Maillot Vert of Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep) follow by yesterday's stage winner, Richie Porte (BMC) and Jakob Fulgsang (Astana).  In the distance you can make out the sole figures of other riders that were finding the final climb of Paris Nice just too, too much.

This is a small watercolors and ink painting measuring just 4"x6" and was created using Yarka St. Petersburg watercolors and Steve Quiller brushes from www.richesonart.com.  This painting and all of my Olympics artwork will be available through my artist website at www.greigleach.com.  To purchase this particular painting just follow the direct link at the end of this post.  It is only $75 USD and international shipping is available.