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          Tour de Lead Graffiti 2015
S T A G E   2 0 :
          Modane Valfréjus > Alpe d’Huez / 110 km

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2011 - 2015 posters grouped by topic

Available as an individual print
or in our clamshell box edition

In words :
  "End on Alpe d'Huez?"

. . .

Start time today : 5:13am

Completed : 10:17 pm

Time today : 17 hours :4 minutes

Time to date : 366 hours : 17 minutes

Runs today: 3 - grey for bike chain; handrolled "Pinot" in 2 colors; orange text & team name

Runs to date : 90

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The day's story

Designing the route for the Tour de France would be great fun. How evil do you want to be? Who do you want to hurt? Who do you want to help? What towns would you like to visit? Any good restaurants anywhere?

Well, when they designed this one they went down the evil path.

Chris Froome almost didn't race this year's tour because it was too tough and he started today wearing the Yellow Jersey for about the 10th day in a row. While his head has probably gotten on board, his legs still wonder.

There are 4 evil details to today.

          • It has a category 1 and 2 HC (out of category) mountain climbs

          • It ends at the top of Alpe d'Huez, THE iconic mountain of the Tour

          • It is the last day and really hard day and it decides the Tour winner

          • They have to fly to Paris for the final stage tomorrow.

We started the Tour rooting for Chris Froome. Today was going to be no different.

But there were people you kind of had to root for at the same time. Quintana had done that killer ride yesterday. It would be OK if he cut into Froome's lead some, but not all 2:32 of it. Froome had ridden a great Tour.

Contador has been trying, but it just hasn't worked. At least he might catch up a bit although he is too far down to have much of a dream to get on the podium. Valverde has been an aggressive and fun rider to watch. He is currently in 3rd and we would like him to stay there. Nibali had that amazing ride on Stage 19 where he jumped from 7th to 4th. But we still want Valverde in 3rd. It would be OK if someone cool won the stage. Bardet would look good putting on the Polkadot Jersey for King of the Mountains. Sagan has the Green Jersey sewn up.

Well we got just about everything we wanted. Turns out a Frenchman, Pinot, would win the stage. He came in 3rd in last year's Tour but has had an unlucky tour this time. Winning for himself and France was a great result. We felt good about him winning and it was an inspired ride.

Quintana came in 2nd on the stage, 32 seconds behind Pinot. The race for the last couple of kilometers was excruciating. Quintana looked like he would catch Pinot, but chasing Pinot was giving him extra motive which was starting to eat into Froome's lead which he had cut in half by the top.

So, the top 3 places in the tour ended up just like we wanted. Nice to see 2nd and 3rd on the same team (Movistar) which also won the team category by a lot. Quintana also won the White Jersey for Best Young Rider (under the age of 26) by a huge margin of something like 10 minutes.

Froome's 2:32 time was just too much for Quitana, but Quintana looks good for future Tour wins. He is only 25 and has another 6 - 8 good years ahead of him.

Jill did a great job of writing the switchback-by-switchback moments which we printed in orange. We paid homage to the 21 switchbacks of Alpe d'Huez with a 4-chain schematic.

We handrolled a bit of French flag in Pinot's name even if we turned it backwards. We liked the red on the left.

A good and exciting stage. A good poster. It was a good day.

Printing details

Signatures : Ray Nichols, Jill Cypher, Tray Nichols

Size : 14.5" x 22.5"

Stock : Somerset Textured White 300 gsm

Main typography : wood - Velo Black 12 line (House Industries); metal - Melior

Production notes : handset wood & metal type. The stage details and signature block were preprinted using Boxcar photopolymer plates.

Press : Vandercook Universal III

Images from Stage

Profile of today's stage

Above: Stage 20

Above: Something we've been playing with for a couple of years is using paper to help us get the ink off the press. We've developed a "bit" of control to it. We like it when it sort of makes mountains. You put solvent on the rollers and then carefully (there are some serious tricks to it) put the paper between the rollers and voilà, you get something like this. I had wanted to do that for every run of every poster, but forgot about it when we started 3 weeks ago. We've done the last two stages. I'd like to use them for book covers. Maybe when we do our autobiographical book about the Tour de Lead Graffiti project. That would be perfect.

Above: Tray starting to lock up the chain run.

Above: A nice closeup shot.

Above: While Tray and I were hot gluing the chain, Jill was composing the text using 36 point Melior.

Above: Tray giving a rough test to see if we've packed under the 1/2" MDF that the chain is glued to. He has a sheet of bookboard he has set on top of the chain and seeing how tight a piece of wood type is under it. This an give you a good idea, but we still had to run 3 prints, constantly adding paper under the MDF before we got it where we wanted.

Above: We used pennies, hot glued to the MDF to help hold the chain in place as we glued it down.

Above: Another of Jill's arty photographs. We should print these out and hanging them around the studio.

Above: This is how the chain looked after it was locked up.

Above: Jill removing the print and the end of the roll.

Above: Handrolling Pinot. Jill is doing the red and I'm doing the blue.

Above: A look at the area where Jill was mixing the orange ink for the text.

Above: I just liked this shot across the finished piece.

Above: The lockup of the text.

Above: Tray and I running the final run which was the text.

Above: Yep. That about explains it. 10:17pm.