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Bingen Fernandez Stage 20: Operation Commando.
By Staff
Date: 9/27/2003
Bingen Fernandez Stage 20: Operation Commando.

Today was the last real day of the Vuelta. Today would determine the real leader. For some, today was probably the most important stage of their career, while others left the box and then just crossed the line some 12 kilometers later.

Before the stage David Millar asked me which sunglasses he should wear. He had two frames today to choose from. One was camouflage and the other one was silver. I told him that the camouflage shades fit the stage the best, which they really did. We all had a 25 ring put on just in case and thankfully so, because it actually came in handy a few times.

David Millar gets ready. Unipublic

Click for larger image. Unipublic

The stage was not suited to those who normally excel at time trials. It was impossible to get into a rhythm. The stage profile doesn't do justice to the actual course. It was up and down with sudden changes in grade that really hurt the legs and made it impossible to recover even on the few descents.

Before today most of us thought that Heras would do well but I do not think that any of us, not even Heras, would have predicted today's outcome. Hera's time trial was incredible. Heras is a good friend and old teammate and I feel very happy for him. He certainly deserves it. This is what the Vuelta has been known for - upsets in the final stages.

Click for larger image. Unipublic

The mood has changed and everyone is a bit more upbeat today - tomorrow we can all go home. For some this is the end of the season, for others there is the World Championship to train for and for others like myself, there are still other races on the calendar before I get a real breather.

Bingen Fernandez Bustinza
Yellow Jersey Tours

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