WE EXPECTED LITTLE EXCITEMENT from this first stage until maybe the final sprint. Flat. Everyone would be careful to keep nerves under control. Get the feel of riding in a pack of 198 riders. Three weeks to go.
So we had an idea to start the poster series with "What are they thinking?" and connect that a bit with "What are we thinking?" We patiently watched the live TV feed with a 3-man breakaway right from the start who stayed clear of the peloton for more than 4 hours.
Then with only 8 km to go and everyone starting to shift into high gear, with teams organizing to lead their speedsters to the finish line, it hit the "fan." Literally.
A spectator, standing on the side of the road with his hand on his hip and elbow out, was clipped by a cyclist being pushed toward the edge causing a massive pileup that completely blocked a 2-lane highway and the ditches on both sides. 77 riders were in front of the crash, and 121 riders were behind it. Most of the favored riders were in front, but Alberto Contador was in back now about 40 seconds behind some leading contenders for the yellow jersey in 3 week's time.
Now, everyone had the pedal to the asphalt. As Contador's group tried to make up the lost ground they had a second massive pileup with about 2 km to go. When they finally crossed the finish line, Contador was 1:14 behind literally all of his major competition. Last year's tour was decided by only 39 seconds over Lead Graffiti favorite, Andy Schleck.
It was a surprise ending to an otherwise uneventful stage where most people just try to stay on their bikes until the last 200 yards when the sprinters take over.
Our time on the poster (early morning organizing, watching the Tour live, lunch to discuss visual paths we might take, and producing the final broadside)
5 : number of press runs
We started the project saying we were doing 2-color posters. We decided to preprint the stage / signature block in the bottom left so we could get squeeze three colors out of the piece. Then on Stage 1, we designed the piece to run off both the top and bottom, so the blue required two runs using our Vandercook Universal III. Then Jill came up with "I've fallen and can't get up" (she immediately changed that to "... catch up"). We hope we can do most of our days in 12 hours including our "feed zones." This first one took more than 16.