On the cover of L’Equipe!

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It may not be the cover of the Rolling Stone but it’s close enough to make me smile wide.

One of the best things about my work is that I never know who might contact me. In this case the art director from L’Equipe Magazine sent me an email to see if I’d be interested in working with them. Duh.

For those of you that didn’t know, L’Equipe Magazine has a former life starting out as L’Auto, the sports newspaper originally printed on yellow paper. In 1903 Henri Desgrange, the publisher and a cyclist himself created a PR event to increase circulation — and the Tour de France was born.

The article is about the early retirement of many World Tour cyclists. Riders like Tom Dumoulin and Marcel Kittel are dropping out for a “time-out” due to depression and burnout from the pressures of the world tour. The article is written by Jean-Luc Tournier, a development coach that has had much experience in the area.

After a few ideas were shared between us the editors settled on two ideas. The cover image of a “Feeling Flat” is exaggerated by my drawing. I’m told the title “Coups de Pompe” is a French expression conveying that idea. I’ve had experience with the subject of depression in a past life working with Leo Burnett Advertising so I was aware it’s a dark subject that needs to be handled with a light touch. A simple bright color pallet helped keep the work from being too gloomy.

A second illustration was also submitted and used inside the publication to headline an article talking about the authors expertise as a coach in this area. Titled “Dark Cloud” it shows a rider with the darkness of depression hanging over him.

It’s fun to see my work on something other than a wall, creating illustrations for clients is a big part of my job so don’t ever be shy about asking to working together, I love solving visual communications problems.

Ride safe. Michael

Follow Michael Valenti:

Michael Valenti is "The Veloist" - He is an avid cyclist and artist known for his Cycling Art work. Each year Michael chases the Pro Peloton at the Tour de France and other major cycling events. He is available for event and corporate cycling related projects as well as personal commissions for art.

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