Here at They Made This we are massive cycling fans. In fact it was a brilliant blog called Cycle Love that inspired They Made This into being. Created by super talented James Greig, the first time I saw Cycle Love I was torn between loving every inch of it and wishing I had created the blog myself. It was a complicated set of emotions. I spent more time looking at photos of bikes on that site than I care to admit and it was with a heavy heart that I read James was stopping the cycling blog last year.

It did however inspired me to start a blog of my own about the other things in life I love as much as cycling, namely photography and illustration. So it came as no surprise to me that as soon I decided to open a print shop on this site, the life long Tour De France fan and brilliant image maker Mark Leary was one of the first photographers I approached.

Mark’s photographs of the infamous Col Du Tourmalet, the most notoriously difficult stage of the Tour De France, are nothing short of stunning. And I absolutely could not start this print shop without them. Luckily for me Mark agreed to join our family of artists and so it is with the greatest pleasure I write this post and showcase his images here.

The Col Du Tourmalet is legendary amongst cycling enthusiasts, nearly 7,000 feet above sea level, the French believe that Tourmalet translates into bad trip or bad detour and with some of the most severe and steepest climbs in road cycling I can see why. But Mark’s exceptionally beautiful landscape images, shot in 2012, manage to transcend the difficulty of the tour itself, and leave us looking at the harsh region in a whole new beautiful light. Shot with a traditional 5 x 4 large format camera, Mark climbed for two hours with his camera, weighing around ten kilos, to the peak of the Tourmalet. And thank goodness he did.

As with all of Mark Leary’s work, the colour, composition, quality of light and atmosphere are simply beautiful. The Col Du Tourmalet images will feature in our shop alongside these prints below from Mark’s Ferry Journey, Salt & Wax series as well as his Sea Gull print. All of the prints are limited edition, signed C-Type prints and are available to buy from our shop now.

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