Description: After an uneventful stage yesterday, Stage 5 rocked.
When we start watching the live feed of the Tour de France in the U.S. they were already about 40 miles into the stage so we aren't sure what happened during that time. But the weather was great and the earth must have been doing something very strange as there were no less than 10 crashes with several of them coming for no obvious reason at all.
The roads were narrow and there are some serious crosswinds in this part of France, but crashes just happened over and over. Both Alberto Contador and Bradley Wiggins simply threw their bikes in the ditch and got new ones at one point. There was at least one withdrawal that came from the crashes and several others were riding in obvious pain for much of the stage.
The other event was the finish which was won by Mark Cavandish of HTC - Highroad, his first stage win of this tour and his 16th overall (the record is 22 for a sprinter). He came from 10th position with about 300 meters to go and still won handily.
No one had claimed the day to print with us, so the three of us were working together so after a lazy lunch we headed to the studio to figure out how to represent 'strange gravity.' We jumped in printed the main text in the same color as we had used for 'squeaked' on the previous poster. We were a bit lazy the night before and being able to just leave the ink on the press overnight is a perk that comes from using rubber-based ink. Then we hit the wall.
We tried a half dozen ways to represent crashes. We had planned to do some kind of visual representation for 6 of them and just rotate them, overprinting several over top of each other in different colors. After a number of false starts it was clear that wasn't going to work very well. We also want to use different type from our metal type collection throughout the posters, so Jill had started setting some 'crash' words. Ray started just playing with them and came up with the zigzag system. The roads were quite narrow and at times would zigzag back and forth with the crosswinds reeking havoc on the peloton. The zigzag offered us a way to show both roads and the constant possibility of bumping. We think it ended up being quite a nice way to represent the day's moments and incidents in an interesting way that also didn't seem to borrow its look from any of the previous posters.
Then throw in a bit of "The Manx Missile" (Mark Cavandish is from the Isle of Man) and you are there.
Oops. Not quite. After finishing we thought the bottom of the poster looked a bit ignored. So we took the bottom arrow and repeated it, representing the fact that Mark had come from so far behind before winning the stage.
Friend and Lead Graffiti patron, Rebecca Johnon Melvin (worked with us on 4 July) stopped in the studio around 9:00 pm to see if we needed any help, so she got her hands into the project as we made the final three runs.
We were happy and finished at 11:00:28 pm which established our new longest day.