The Cruise from El Ejido to Malaga
People were on this cruise without knowing exactly what type of services it
would offer. Some don't know what the services are, others want express
service, while others want a basic service (easy tempo), or some other exclusive
service and still others wanted group service.
When we left the dock, Cafes Baque asked for express service but Fassa and
Cofidis had limitations to that request. You can have express service but
if you get it, everyone gets it, which meant that the entire peloton would be
moving fast. However, some wanted to just go out with their friends and be
offered express service and did not want it for everyone. Usually, this
exclusive service would only be offered for a minute or two by Fassa and
Cofidis before we pulled them back in.
Everyone else soon realized that we and Fassa were offering exclusive service to a few but were no longer
offering more, so they would have to live with their basic service. So as
the day went on, different packages were used - all but one - the group service,
which we still had to use in order to catch the breakaway and finish in a
bunch sprint. There were very few kilometres to the finish, and Cofidis
treated the peloton to an espresso of sorts, but Fassa invited us to have a
double espresso with them. Normally, espresso is good enough, but a good
double espresso is always better.
(During the sprint we were up front working for Stuey. Luis Perez was in
the peloton. I heard over the team radio that someone's back wheel broke.
Then there was nothing more. I was on the radio asking "Whose wheel? Luis'
or Atienza?" No answer. Four kilometres from the finish I kept trying to
find Luis, and when I couldn't see him I knew that it must have been Luis, so
I pulled off the front in search of Luis. By the time I got to the rear he
was just regrouping. It was an unfortunate situation because there was not
good radio communication and we didn't know that Luis' wheel had broken.)
Stage 14: Malaga - Granada
Math for Cyclists
When I was in school I was never that good in math, but in cycling you
almost have to be a good mathematician. Today, I started the stage with a
calculator on which I could add, subtract and do logarithms. I was not sure if
I needed it, but I took it just in case. I started inputting data right
from the start. There were a lot of options available on this calculator:
flat, hills, wind, and speed. These would all be used in the equation.
I input my first piece of data:
FLAT + 55KM/HR BREAKAWAYS = GOOD
Later, I input another piece of data:
FLAT + LEADER CONTENT WITH THERE BEING BREAKAWAY + 40KM/HR = VERY GOOD
I had a feeling that it would be a fairly easy day. Then...
ATTACK + CAT 2 MOUNTAIN + 35KM/HR CLIMBING = AT THE LIMIT
I was not able to input my next piece of data since Liberty Seguros wanted
to catch the attack and we were going too fast and I did not have time to
take the calculator out. Later at the feed zone, I was able to take out my
BREAKAWAY + CHASE SPEED + HILLS + WIND = SLOW PAINFUL DEATH
The equations were not working out, I was getting a negative answer. There
had to be another option that I could add to the equation so that I would be
able to finish. There it is, I see it. The logarithm function. This
option would save me. In order to do the logarithm I would have to add the
result, which I did.
SAVED + LOGARITHM OF 30KM TO GO = GRUPETTO AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND FINISH
WITHIN THE TIME LIMIT
We have a winner in the Guess Juanma's Fine contest from Bingen's
Dr. Robert Suter guessed 500 Swiss francs, which was closest to the correct
answer - Juan Manuel Garate's fine for his water bottle was 953 Swiss francs, so
Bingen will be mailing Dr. Suter the water bottle, signed by Juanma Garate of