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Bingen Fernandez on Stage 6: Individual Time Trial
By Staff
Date: 9/11/2003
Bingen Fernandez on Stage 6: Individual Time Trial

Today was a long day. A really long day, considering we only did 44kms. I knew before I began that it was going to be a tough time trial because David Millar had not yet arrived by the time I was set to take off.

Last minute details. © Unipublic

We had strong winds today as well. We started into strong head and side winds. There were so many times that I felt I was going nowhere. There were several points that the sidewinds had us riding tilted to one side with our helmets crooked as well - which is not so stylish for the cameras.

Imagine what it was like for us to be all alone on a 6-lane highway, struggling against a brutle headwind and watching the kilometers on our computer barely changing. Imagine having to actually shift into your small chain ring in the front just so you can maintain you cadence. It was quite miserable!

I, like everyone else, anxiously awaited the turn around point where we could finally get some help with a tailwind. Although when I turned around I didnít have the strength to take advantage of it. After pedaling into a brick wall for so long I was exhausted and had no strength left in my legs to ride fast. Many of us had this problem.

The worst for me was really the last four kilometers as we entered the town. We were greeted with lots of spectators and again with a headwind. For me those last four kilometers may very well have been the longest kilometers I have ever done.

As soon as I crossed the finish line I rode to our hotel, showered and joined David in his room to watch the race on the television and translate the commentary from Spanish to English for him.

David Millar, Cofidis. © Unipublic

It was a tough loss for Millar and it is hard too see him not take todayís stage. It is tough to start early and set a good pace. This is why time trials are set up to give advantage to those who are placed better in the general clasifications; they know the times of the other riders and can pace themselves accordingly. Neverthless, Nozal is a great guy and I am happy he had a great ride. Both Nozal and Beltran rode quite impressively and did much better than anyone could have predicted. I thought Casero would have had a better time. A lot of us are disappointed. My teammate Luis Perez is also disappointed and told me that it just wasnít a good day for him.

Well, we are off to the mountains tomorrow so that should shake things up a lot.

Bingen Fernandez Bustinza
Yellow Jersey Tours

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