At least one of the cyclists in the Tour de France has ties to Lawrence.
Bingen Fernandez, a 14th-year Spanish pro who rides for the French Cofidis cycling team, is a regular offseason visitor to Lawrence. Last fall, for instance, he spent several weeks here visiting his girlfriend, Nikane Mallea.
He participated in some of the regular group rides of the Lawrence Bicycle Club and developed a bit of a following among local cyclists.
Fernandez has agreed to file regular blogs from this year’s Tour.
Monday: rest day
Fernandez stage-15 finish: 113th
Fernandez overall: 104th, 1 hour, 14 minutes, 41 seconds behind
Rider number: 125
Mentally it was a very tough stage, if nothing more than just waiting and waiting for a breakaway to form. There was always one team that was not happy, not having a rider represented in the breakaway, and they would work hard on the front to pull them back in. I got into a couple breaks early but there was no hope for us to stay away.
One time a breakaway formed and Astana started working on the front because they did not want any possibility of riders taking time — they had their eyes set on taking the yellow jersey tomorrow.
As we head into this last week our mental strength seems weaker than our physical strength.
Every day just seems a little harder.
— Bingen Fernandez