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Bingen Fernandez: Vuelta Journals Stages 13 and 14
 
By Staff
Date: 9/20/2004
Bingen Fernandez: Vuelta Journals Stages 13 and 14
 

Stage 13
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 calculator.

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 Stage 10 Journal!

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 Lampre!

 
Related Articles
Bingen Fernández: Vuelta Journals Stage 6 and 8
Bingen Fernández: Vuelta Journal Stage 10
Bingen Fernández's Vuelta Journals: Rest Day and Stage 12

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