Story and photos by Bingen Fernandez
The phone in our hotel room rang at 5:30am. Half asleep I picked it up. It
was a recording—a wake up call from reception. Iñigo woke up and asked me who it
was. "¿Quién es?"
We knew right away that it was Luis Perez who had requested the wake up call.
Iñigo jumped out of bed and headed down the hotel hallway to Luis’s room. I
could hear him banging on the door and telling Luis that it was time to get up.
Iñigo and I complained to Luis plenty at breakfast. "Why did you have to wake
us up so early?" Luis just laughed. Today was a rest day and we should have been
able to sleep in. The plan was to ride to Benidorm and back—a good 2 1/2 hours,
right? Well, not exactly. You see, the loop to Benidorm and back is just 40kms,
not 75kms, what the directors thought. Our plan was to follow the coast, stop
for coffee, sit in the sun and then return to the hotel—a good 2 1/2 hours, just
as planned. After all today was a rest day, was it not?
Our group leaving Calpe for Benidorm.
Rest day: Igor Astarloa and Bingen Fernandez with friends having
In the afternoon Luis and I went to a beauty salon for a waxing session. We
didn’t go to get our legs waxed though; we went to get our arms waxed. All of us
shave our legs, a few of us shave our arms, and a few (who have it) shave their
chest hair to keep cool. Although Perez frequently waxes his arms, it was my
first time, but since I have such hairy arms I was all for it. So for 9 Euros
and a tiny patch of irritated skin, I am clean shaven. Man, do I have scrawny
Bingen getting his arms waxed.
Later that afternoon we were making plans for dinner, although the plans have
been in the works since the Worlds in Hamilton. Marcello, our masseuse, and Luis
and Iñigo thought that the world champs should take us all out for dinner during
training camp. But I had already won a dinner on a bet earlier that morning with
During our short ride this morning Luis got a flat tire. He was upset because
he said it was a tubular and he didn’t have a spare. I insisted that it was not
a tubular. So we argued back and forth as to what it was. So the bet was on. It
was a tubular; I had to buy him dinner. If it was tube, he had to buy me dinner.
That is how I won dinner.
After dinner we all piled into the car. Just as the door was being shut,
Daniel Atienza decided to ride with us. As it happened, his hand got shut in the
door. All of us inside the car did not realize what had happened. Tap, tap, tap.
We heard a quiet knocking on the door and a faint "La mano, la mano."
Unfortunately it took us a while to figure out what had happened, but luckily
he was ok. It wasn’t long before we started laughing—we couldn’t help ourselves.
If it happened to any one of us we would have been yelling for someone to open
the door, not tapping on the door. Atienza said that we would be laughing now,
but he would laugh the next time any of us crashed in a race. That made us start
to laugh again as Atienza is accident prone and ends up in many crashes.
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