Thursday, 28 July 2011

Fort Medoc, France

My sketch shows Fort Medoc, located about 10 km (6 miles) from Pauillac, where Stage 19 of the 2010 Tour de France finished. It was built in the 17th century on the instructions of King Louis XIV. It has earthen walls and stone buildings and, along with two other forts in the same region, was supposed to guard the region from attackers coming down the River Gironde. However, Fort Medoc has never figured in any military role. Since 1930 it is the property of the local municipality and is used these days to hold concerts.

Stage 19 was Andy Schleck's final chance to overtake Alberto Contador in the overall classification for the yellow jersey and thus to win the 2010 Tour de France. This stage was an individual time trial, and the route was from Bordeaux to Pauillac, a distance of 52 km (about 32.31 miles). The cyclists took off at intervals of around 3 minutes and raced against the clock. But it was widely expected that Contador would increase his lead over Schleck, who in the past had struggled in this discipline.

The initial going surprised all as Schleck set a high pace that Contador, who followed him three minutes later, had difficulty matching. By the first time check Schleck had picked up six seconds, cutting Contador's overall lead to just two seconds on the road. By the second time check Contador had recovered his losses and extended his lead over Schleck by six seconds. Over the final third of the course Contador extended his advantage, gaining an additional twenty-five seconds on his rival for an overall gain of thirty-one seconds for the stage. When added to the lead that he had started the day with, Contador now led Andy Schleck by 39 seconds. Since by tradition the wearer of the yellow jersey would not be challenged on the last day's ride into Paris, this guaranteed Contador victory barring any unfortunnate accident en route.

Fabian Cancellara, the Olympic and World Time Trial Champion, won the time trial and therefore Stage 19. Allesandro Petacchi who had displaced Thor Hushovd in the sprints classification for the green jersey, Anthony Charteau in the king of the mountains category for the polka jersey, and Andy Schleck in the best young rider category for the white jersey, all held on to their respective leads.

7 comments:

  1. You are quite a keen cycling fan!

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  2. By the way....I forgot to mention how good your drawing is, you are a good draughtsman.

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  3. Great line work and perspective, Balaji. Although I know nothing about cycling, it is interesting to read and see sketches of all these beautiful buildings.

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  4. Fort Medoc is quite striking and I see you are coming into your own style. From other comments given above I also have a question, 'when did you become a cycling enthusiast?'

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  5. Marmsk, SketchGurl, and Benny....Thank you.
    Benny, I have been following cycling for the last 10 years or so. More on that in my first post of the Tour de France series "Tilted Cube Houses, Rotterdam", posted in June this year.

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  6. very nice tones and shadows on this one. once again i left a comment before i went out of town on firday and it's either disappeared or i didn't go thru with the procedure properly... its mystifying!!!

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  7. Thank you KB!
    It has happened to me too. I have commented and later found the comments missing. These days I save my comment on my clipboard and check immediately to see whether my comment shows up on the blogpost. This way, if I have made a procedural error, I am able to rectify it immediately.

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