The most gruelling, savage yet unquestionably rewarding cycling event of the year is riding into its halfway point today, following another day of very well deserved rest. Though the first place positions regularly sees the names of Germany's Marcel Kittel and the Italian Vincenzo Nibali (who might as well have the yellow leader's jersey be a sewn as part of him at this point...), the contest has been anything but uninteresting.
There's still a great many more stages to go, and so before the final leg speeds past us, we thought we'd do a quick highlight on some cycling cross stitch kits from our site and around the web.
Easily the premium pattern for any crafter with a hidden (or perhaps quite open) passion for the sport, the Cycle Race Cross Stitch Kit by Heritage Crafts captures the intensity and high tension of the race at its most climactic point.
Two things we love about this piece: first, the deflated background really gives it that 'in the moment' feel, evoking the instant where the crowd and scenery are drowned out and the road ahead is all that matters. The second, of course, is the union jack. Though our two time champions Team SKY are only now starting to make their big push, we certainly won't reel back our support not only them but also for all the Britons in the tour, especially after the sad early departure of Mark Cavendish, or the fast-notice selection of the contest's youngest survivor Simon Yates.
Perhaps all the crashes (at their most frequent this year) and painstaking performance isn't really your thing; maybe what appeals to you most about the Tour De France is not necessarily the cycling, but the countryside. If that be the case, we have this Fine Wine Cross Stitch Kit, that showcases all the things we're sure the riders are getting to enjoy a little more of now they're across the channel.
For the little ones, we even have a cross stitch kit or two to kindle an early interest in the sport. Our old sheepy friend from Timmy Time's tricycle may not quite be to Tour regulations (though that is one race we'd love to see...) but for many modern stalwarts of cycling, it may well have been their first time controlling a pair of wheels. Speaking of firsts, Anchor's pushbike tapestry kit is both a great way to enter the realm of biking and one of our favourite needlecrafts.
Have you been marking the days of the Tour De France with a bit of needlecrafting? If so do post in the comments of this blog, or you can share it with many lovely people on our Facebook page, through Twitter or on Google+, along with our ever pedalling cross stitch community.