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Rouleur Cover Stories: issue 46 – Gazzetta pink by Cathal Macilwaine

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An eBay gem, extra clean printing presses and just the right shade of pink: the story behind the subscriber cover for Rouleur issue 46.

Photographs: Cathal Macilwaine

Every Rouleur subscriber’s cover is a thing of beauty, and every one has its own tale behind it. Former editor Guy Andrews explains the thought and execution behind the front page for issue 46. 


Nineteen-eighties-era Renaults are a bit of a passion of mine, so when I saw this particular model on eBay, I chased the Giro-liveried Sanson vehicle with vigour. It fits with the era of the retail cover perfectly too, as Francesco Moser rode for the team in the late 70s.


Ah, the best laid plans. Once bought, the car arrived late at Rouleur HQ, so the cover shoot with photographer Cathal Macilwaine was a few days before deadline. Cathal’s only question was: “Which way around do you want it?”


We have always wanted to do a pink cover for the Giro-flavoured issue, but it’s no easy feat. Firstly, the shade of pink has to be just right. The Gazzetta dello Sport is the inspiration for the maglia rosa, the newsprint being the link between the race’s long-time sponsor and the leader’s jersey.


But there’s no definitive Gazzetta pink, so matching that was a case of Art Director Rob Johnston trawling through photographs of Giro leaders and taking a well-researched punt.


Secondly, the printer has to take extra care to clean all traces of contaminant from the cylinders in the presses and pay particular attention to the blankets inside the machine.


“When printing a shade, rather than a true, flat colour, any specks of dust or fluff in there can make it go a bit wrong,” explains Neil Wass, the head honcho at Manson Group, Rouleur’s long standing printers.


The 1/24th scale Sanson model itself had all the stuff boys dream of: chrome steering wheel, alloy-effect wheels, spare bikes and opening doors.


The box is almost as impressive as the car, the only slight disappointment being the Tesco’s price sticker still stuck to the back: £2.99. Needless to say, I paid a lot more for it on eBay.


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