There’s only one week left of the 2016 Tour de France and it won’t be long before the decisive moves are made that will shape history. I’ve had a constant companion while staring bleary-eyed at the screen (coverage in Sydney starts at around 10.00pm): UK illustrator Rich Mitchelson’s new book, Grand Tour.
Until now, I abhorred the concept of ‘adult colouring books’, dismissing them as unnecessary nostalgia. It didn’t even occur to me that Rich’s Grand Tour book actually was an adult colouring book — it’s way too much fun. Rich aptly describes it as “A Two-wheeled, Chain-driven Interactive Artistic Adventure”.
Rich Mitch has created artwork for Rouleur Magazine and Team Sky. You’ll recognise his mugs with illustrations of Grand Tour champions’ mugs, and his Eddy Merckx vinyl toys. Recently he collaborated with Drops Cycling on some awesome wallpaper, while applying the final touches to the Grand Tour book.
Grand Tour is a 144-page tome with a different activity on each spread, inspired by the golden culture of the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España and La Grande Boucle — the Tour de France. You can draw your own route, design your team’s jerseys, even ‘cut out and keep your own crazy cycling mega fan’.
The heroes are all present, from Le Blaireu to L’Americain. Modern legends like Sir Bradley Wiggins have been included, who you can decorate to your heart’s content. Paint the team bus, and create the Vuelta’s route book, although one activity to save until after the second bottle of rouge is colouring in your sample for doping control…
Sure, it’s an interactive artistic activity book, but it’s also a fine opus for your library or the coffee table. If you’re a fan of Rich’s illustrations, the pro circuit or cycling in general, Rich’s Grand Tour will prove to be a satisfying source of mirth and distraction. Find it in your local bookstore or pick it up now on Amazon.