As you might expect from the stage following 'all hell broke loose' things were pretty low key. Johnny Hoogerland had gotten 33 stitches from his trip into the barbed wire, so he was taking the day pretty easy. The guts this guy is showing just staying in the Tour is what this race is all about. Wow.
A bit of a strange, but seriously minor, moment on TV was Jérôme Coppel of Saur-Sojasun who might have been caught up in one of the small crashes riding up next to his support car (and now every time someone gets next to car things seem edgier), but he isn't wearing his left shoe. The mechanic leans out of the car and puts his shoe on like he was working in some shoe store in the mall. We had never seen anything like that happen before and we laughed and joked with "what if that is the big moment."
Then a few minutes later it strangely happened again, also to the left shoe, but this time to Thor Hushovd of Team Garmin-Cervélo, the 6-stage leader of this year's Tour de France. Now we knew we wanted to use it somehow. So we made lots of shoe jokes, two left feet, etc. for the rest of the stage.
There was a nice sprint at the end with André Greipel of Omega Pharma - Lotto edging out 17-stage winner Mark Cavendish of HTC - Highroad for his first stage win in the Tour de France. Sitting watching this in Newark, Delaware it is a bit hard to imagine what your first stage win must feel like. We were seriously excited for him.
So, we set off to the studio with that. We basically did the design you see here with the sprint and the shoe incident, thinking that would be all we would do. A lot on the right and leave the left alone which would at least make the symmetry of the piece diferent.
Then Jill suggested adding "no bumper thumper" in the blank space. We bounced that around for a few minutes and ended up with "No bumper cars" as the Tour de France had gotten on its radio at the start of the stage and had threatened all of the drivers with a stint in the Bastille if there were additional car-related incidents. Just for your information the Tour de France starts out with 198 riders and 140 cars. We were stunned to hear there were that many cars. Jill wanted to set it in Neuland so Ray grabbed the 60 point and set it. Seemed kind of boring, so let's try to break it in some odd way.
How nice does that work out? Again one of those letterpress accidents that works out way better than what you have floating in your head.
We are also getting into those runs with one character on them that you can see with that arrow pointing to Greipel's win.