Tour de Lead Graffiti 2013
S T A G E 1 :
Porto-Vecchio > Bastia / 212 km
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Strange things in France
. . .
Start time today : 6:00 am
Completed : 11:48 pm
Time today : 17 hours 48 minutes
Time to date : 17 hours 48 minutes
Printing sequence : 5 runs - taupe, orange, red-orange, handrolled "crash / Kittel / bus stop / arrow," and blue
Runs to date : 5
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The day's story
One of the things we wanted to do this year, if the stages would work with us, was to be a bit more "narrative." We thought the 00:00:00 timing and a nice big 100th (thanks to some advice from Kieran who will be joining us on a later stage) would be a good way to kick off this special year.
Coinciding with the absolute start of the stage was a 5-man breakaway we wanted to highlight : Jerome Cousin / EUC; Juan José Lobato / EUS; Lars Boom / BEL; Juan Antonio Flecha / VCD (Stage 9 : 2011); and Cyril Lemoine / SOJ.
And then things went dead. The breakaway would get ahead and then the peloton would reel them back in a bit and then ahead, then reel them back up until around 20 km to go.
At the finish line (and seriously someone needs to have all of the measurements figured out somewhere) one of the team buses was crossing the finish line in preparation for the arrival of the sprinters when...
bam! The huge FINISH LINE banner across the road was about a foot too low for the bus. It tore off a few antenna-looking things, and smashed into something connected to the AC system because visible vapor was escaping. And there it sat. Jammed. The bus took up at least half of the road where, in a matter of 20 minutes, 198 riders pedaling about 35 miles an hour were going to ram into a space that wasn't there. The Tour officials must have been trying to avoid having heart attacks and the poor bus driver wished he could melt away and disappear.
This bus incident brought to mind one of our Tour posters from 2011. One of the support cars dodged a roadside tree and veered into Juan Antonio Flecha (one of the guys in the breakaway) who ran into Johnny Hoogerland who did an end-over-end into a barbed wire fence resulting in 35+ stitches. Reflecting the severe tongue lashing from the race officials, the poster for the next day's stage read "No bum per cars." We thought we might just change "cars" to "buses" to fit the latest incident.
Back to the TdF officials. They decided to declare the 3 km-to-the-finish spot as the finish line, so I'm guessing the racers' radios were buzzing with that news. As it turns out, that point was exactly (and I mean exactly) at the end of a very sharp and dangerous S-curve. The peloton was really bouncing around as the lead-out teams for all of the sprinters who wanted to win the opening stage of the 100th running of the Tour de France struggled to get organized. Or at least less disorganized. In the ensuing chaos there were major crashes and bike damage. In the fallout, the three sprinters who were most likely to win were suddenly out of contention. Mark Cavendish was stuck behind the pileup. Peter Sagan crashed and was bleeding from a bit of road rash. Andre Greipel needed a new bike. Even Alberto Contador, one of the favorites to win the Tour this year, was bleeding.
So, the rest of the peloton is still barreling along. The bus is somehow unstuck and the TdF officials changed the substitute finish line back to the original finish line. Imagine having been standing there as a spectator at the finish line for 15 hours trying to hold your place and the race doesn't finish there. As the peloton is getting close to the finish, you can see that everyone is completely confused. Where are the sprinters?
"Well,"Marcel Kittel says,"If you don't want it, I'll take it!" and he was the first across the finish line.
I suspect there was hell to pay for someone. The TdF gave all riders the same time, but Kittel will start Stage 2 wearing the coveted Yellow Jersey.
So, our opening poster went from looking like we weren't going to have anything exciting to say, to "How can we get all of this on just one sheet of paper?" The poster has more stuff on it than normal, which took its toll on our time as we feared we might not get it printed on the same day as the stage. That would have been a first, but we managed with Megan's energy and enthusiastic help, like Kittel, to navigate the chaos safely and finish just under the proverbial wire without getting stuck.
Signatures: Ray Nichols, Jill Cypher, Megan Zettlemoyer
Size: 14.5" x 22.5"
Stock: Somerset Textured White 300 gsm
Main typography: Bernhard gothic Medium & Impact
Production notes: handset wood & metal type. The stage / signature block / profile was preprinted using photopolymer plates.
Press: Vandercook Universal III
Three of today's photos
We wanted to put "100th" to celebrate the 100th running of the Tour de France and this shows Megan locking it in so it will bleed off the top and side of the poster.
Lockup of the 00:00:00 indicating that the first breakaway came at the drop of the "start racing" flag. Who wouldn't want to take a shot at that?
One of Jill's studio still life shots which has a strange space to it. The ink and tools are on a piece of glass about 1.5" above whatever is under it. We like working on glass so we can keep the drawdowns for the colors right in plain view all of the time.