Tour de Lead Graffiti 2013
S T A G E 7 :
Montpellier > Albi / 205 km
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Start time today : 5:25 am
Completed : 9:19
Time today : 14 hours 54 minutes
Time to date: 115 hours 27 minutes
Printing sequence : blind debossed Cannondale, handrolled the green background directly on the stock, handrolled Sagan and the arrows with green and orange
Runs to date : 44
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The day's story
Today was like watching ballet. It was a textbook example or Tour de France team strategy at work. If you don't understand the Tour this might not make enough sense.
There are people in the Tour de France that have no expectation of winning. Actually most fall into that category. Without an act of God there are likely only 10 or less that truly can pull off standing at the top of the podium. So what are the rest of them doing there.
Trying to win a stage.
Trying to win a jersey (green for the sprinters, white with red polka dots for the mountain climbers, and white for the youngest to go along with the yellow for the overall winner).
Trying to be in a breakout that will get your sponsors mentioned.
Try to beat anyone that is better than you at any of the above.
Trying to do better than they did before.
The Cannondale team, home of Peter Sagan, is there to make Peter Sagan look good. If the rest of the team can make Peter Sagan look good then they look good. Cannondale looks good. I have no idea how much Cannondale pays those team members, but I'm sure it adds up to a pretty bunch. So why are they centered around Peter Sagan. For two reasons. To win stages and to win the Sprinter's Jersey. And at the start of today Peter Sagan was winning the Sprinter's Jersey, but had come in second on the stage 3 times with one 3rd. That would have to be eating him up in side. 2nd is better than 3rd, but it is a boatload worse than winning.
Out on the course there is an intermediate sprint that awards points to the first 15 or so riders that cross it. The first person gets 20 sprinter points.
At the end of the flat and sometimes hilly stages (you can call them "Sprinter stages" because they are the only ones a sprinter has much of a chance of winning) the points start at 35 for crossing the finish line first and are given out for 20 or so places. So, if you could be fortunate enough to do both of those things in the same stage you would get 55 points. Another little problem is if Mark Cavendish finishes second on both things he will get 17 + 30 for a total of 47 points. So, while first got a lot second place didn't lose a lot. The key is to winning a lot of points and not having your closest competitors win many points.
Back to Cannondale.
Early in the stage and before the intermediate sprint the peloton split into two groups about 2:30 apart. André Greipel and Mark Cavendish were in that second group with at least most of the Cannondale group in the first group. The Cannondale team moved to the front of the peloton and put the hammer down. Cavendish and company worked and worked, but could not close the gap to catch up. You might see the impact of this in the fact that if Sagan can win the intermediate points with the two closest rivals in the second group then he will get the 20 points and they will get 0. And that is exactly what happened.
Now, for Cannondale the question is, "Can you keep it going?" After a while the second group actually split again. Greipel was in the second group, but his team and Cavendish were in the 3rd.
In a nice show of speed Peter Sagan won the stage, all of the secondary points were won by non-rivals and Sagan had added an extra 55 points to his Sprinter Jersey count and the two other main rivals might essentially be out of the running at this point. All he has to do is keep from having someone else do this to him.
For a stage that literally had no moments that stood out, it was a beautiful thing to watch once you figured out what was happening.
We decided that we would focus on Cannondale green and give a big callout to the team. We've never done this on any poster except for the Team Time Trials.
We blind debossed Cannondale (printed with no ink), Jill handrolled the green background right on the paper (and this was some serious work in our studio that was 91° most of the afternoon. We had lots of fans point at us and we also figure as long as the cyclists are sweating we can to. We then handrolled Sagan's name and the arrows representing the 8 other team members on Cannondale with some orange for the winning arrow.
Nice day to watch the tour and a blast doing the poster to celebrate it. It doesn't hurt that it doesn't look like any other poster we've done in the previous 51.
One week down. Two weeks and 2 days to go.
Signatures: Ray Nichols, Jill Cypher, & Kieran Francke
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
Kieran was our guest collaborator. He has done it all three years.
Who doesn't love a 12-year-old that can measure in picas?
And if you ask for "27" will give you a 20p x 10p, a 3p x 10p, and a 4p x 10p piece of steel furniture without missing a beat.
Jill handrolled a stack of deckles first as that was the hardest part to get absolutely green.
Jill handrolling on the stock trying to maintain a nice "glow" to the edge of Cannondale.
This is Hendrik-Jan, Kieran's father, who joined us late in the day for pizza. Then it looked like he thought we were having too much fun so he dove in. You cannot tell it quite well enough in this photo, but we now have proof of where Kieran gets that thing he does with his tongue when he is really concentrating.
Ray and Hendrik-Jan are long-time friends and it was nice to be able to gather over a Vandercook. Hendrik-Jan, owner of Bright Orange Thread, did the Lead Graffiti website.