Bingen today, after his crash yesterday.
Calma Tensa. Calm Tension.
After yesterday's war no one was excited to lead or chase down attacks.
Everyone was verbalizing the need to take it a bit easier today. There were a
few riders who were yelling "Piano, piano," meaning "slow" in Italian. Of
course, not everyone was listening and there was an attack in the second
kilometer of the race. They were four riders that no one wanted to chase down. A
rider would be sarcastic and say that it was a good attack and impossible to
catch at that speed and another rider would laugh and agree. It wasn't a good
attack though - the peloton was just lazy and didn't want to exert an ounce more
At about kilometer 15 we hit a really windy patch with strong side winds. The
peloton was still taking it easy, however even though we were traveling at a
calm pace the entire peloton was nervous. I chatted with my neighbors but was
still nervous, worrying that at any moment something might happen - I chatted,
always keeping one eye on the head of the peloton, just in case.
Around 50 kilometers from the finish we were faced with an even stronger side
wind and the peloton formed an echelon. This time was different. There were many
riders who had gotten rid of their lethargy by this point and wanted to pedal
hard. The Postal Team took to the front fiercely. At this time in the Vuelta
many riders have lost their motivation because they are too far down in the
classification and know that 10-15 minutes more won't affect them greatly. When
this starts to happen, there are many riders who just don't want to suffer.
Many riders gave up chasing the wheel in front of them. If today was stage
two every rider would suffer beyond their limits and do whatever possible not to
lose the wheel in front of them. So today, within minutes the peloton was torn
apart. Happily for us, Luis Perez was in the first group. With three riders
ahead of him in general clasification stuck in other groups and losing a minute
today, he has gained back the time he lost yesterday.
This morning I was feeling quite down and sore and kept wondering if I would
be able to continue racing this Vuelta. I am feeling much better now - better
than I expected. My knee is still very swollen and if looks could kill I think
my road rash and swollen bulges would kill off a rider or two. Iņigo keeps
laughing at me every time I groan in pain - being my roommate means that he will
have to sleep through my complaints.
I am pleased to hear that these journals are finding their way into the
Eurosport's commentary. Hopefully Daily Peloton and I can continue to feed
Eurosport good stories in the days to come.
Bingen Fernandez Bustinza
Yellow Jersey Tours