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          Tour de Lead Graffiti 2012
S T A G E   10 :
          M√Ęcon > Bellegarde-sur-Valserine / 194.5 km

the project | clamshell | title page | descriptions | colophon | postcards | composite

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Stage 11 / Tour de Lead Graffiti 2012

Available as an individual print
or in the clamshell box edition

In 1 word:

. . .

Start time today: 5:58 am

Completed: 11:10 pm

Time today: 17 hours : 12 minutes

Time to date: 186 hours : 34 minutes

Runs: 5 (sequence: dark violet, green, blue, red, brown)

Runs to date: 62

370 > 800 pixel wide enlargement

The day's story

Description: So, after a 'rest day' we decided to go out on our own breakaway.

We had been talking about how the scenery in the Tour de France is simply stunning. There is no way you would watch a stage on TV and not want to go there. The mountains, trees, narrow roads, houses / mansions, churches, cascading waterfalls, rock strewn rivers, and another 20 categtories of cool images we could mention.

Today, the scene that stole our attention was a view going up Col du Grand Colombier that simply stopped us cold. This is the first time the Tour has ever gone up this mountain. They should do it every year just so they can show this helicopter view. The riders were going up. Can you imagine going down?

Col du Grand Colombier

There are lots of 180 degree snakey switchbacks, but this is one of those curled up Boa Constructors.

We decided to wrap the curves with dots (which we don't have large enough) so we stopped by Home Depot after lunch and picked up a couple of oak dowels. We knew the letterpress lockups were going to be hard so we said we weren't doing any handrolling so we thought the texture of the oak would give us a bit of texture. We cut type-high cylinders on our lead saw which worked out pretty well. Definitely the next time we might cut them a bit short (1/2 point) just to give us some control. I think we were about 1/2 point over.

We wanted to have our 2" high main type curve slightly, almost so you wouldn't notice at first. Five colors, 5 press cleanups, 5 locking up type along a curve, 4 lockups of the dowels, and we were done.

A word of warning to endurance letterpress printers: be sure you don't get ideas that push you past your 'wall.' And definitely be careful to not push you past a couple of them.

Another interesting element is our reaction to specific riders. After last year when we were so focused on the Tour we really got attached to maybe 15 different people. Sometimes it was a guy that was constantly on a breakaway. Sometimes it was just a heroic effort kind of out of nowhere. Sometimes it would be surviving a crash and riding in spite of the pain. One of those was Thomas Voeckler of Eurocar. He was an unlikely leader of the Tour and he simply took control and went with it. He grabbed the Yellow Jersey on Stage 9 after that horrific accident involving Johnny Hoogerland and the barbed wire fence. Every day the announcers would say that this was likely his last day in Yellow. And then the next day he would still be in Yellow. He did that for 10 days and it was great seeing him on that podium every one of those days. When he smiles it gets all the way down to his shoulders.

Voeckler won the stage today from a breakaway position and it was honestly thrilling to see him cross the finish line. It was like one of friends had won the day. We constantly talk on the way to lunch about how something in each stage makes it special.

Tomorrow we start a string of five consecutive days with collaborators in our studio.

General classification leaders & favorites

Yellow Jersey / Bradley Wiggins: 39:09:20

     Cadel Evans: + 01:53
     Christopher Froome: + 02:07
     Vincenzo Nibali: + 2:23
     Tommy Voecklet: + 21:55

Printing details

Signatures: Ray Nichols, Jill Cypher, and Tray Nichols

Size: 14.75" x 22.5"

Stock: Somerset Textured White 300 gsm

Main typography: 12 line Agency Gothic Outline, 12 line Stymie Bold Condensed

Production notes: handset wood & metal type. The stage / signature block was preprinted using photopolymer plates.

Press: Vandercook Universal III