130 x 115 x 10cm. Acrylic, collage, pen, on board, with bike frame. SOLD

LE TOUR is geography and geometry; a fusion of the landscape and the bicycle. The base features many of the  notable players in the Tour’s glory years - Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali, Jacques Anquetil, Henri Desgrange, Louison Bobet, Roger Rivie`re, Gastone Nencini, Hugo Koblet, Tom Simpson, Charly Gaul, Eddy Merckx, Federico  Bahamontes, Raymond Poulidor.

Odile Defraye, winner of the Tour in 1912, is also present. Paris is the focal point. The contours of France underpin a bike frame, positioned so that key members of its structure locate above four famed mountain regions of the Tour:

1.Pyrenees (chain stays),
2.The Alps (down tube),
3.Massif Central (seat tube),
4.Vosges/Jura (down/top tube).

Within each region, specific cols have been commemorated as numbered (in metres) collars placed along the bike frame:

1. Pyrenees
1709 Col d’Aubisque
2115 Col du Tourmalet
1489 Col d’Aspin
1569 Col de Peyresourde

2. The Alps
1993 Col de la Madeleine
1566 Col du Telegraphe
1860 Alpe d’Huez
2645 Col du Galibier
1912 Mont Ventoux

3. Massif Central
1465 Puy de Dome
1589 Pas de Peyrol

4. Vosges/Jura
1505 Col du Grand Colombier
1343 Col du Grand Ballon

Original hand-notations (anonymous) from a 1970 Paris-Normandie commemorative poster show the results of each stage (1-23). A dominant Merckx would take the GC (General Classification) by over twelve minutes and also the King of the Mountains title. Each tyre is formed from a quote by French philosopher Roland Barthes - [left] “un lieu d’épreuves pour les héros” [a testing place for the heroes]; [right] “un enfer supérieur où le cycliste définira la vérité” [a superior hell where the cyclist will define the truth].
All artwork, text and images © James Straffon 2024.