The "race to the sun" is officially underway. Congratulations to Vacansoleil's Thomas De Gendt, who won a very exciting first stage, after he, Jeremy Roy and 39-year-old Jens Voigt broke away for the last 40+ kilometers of the race. Their lead never exceeded 30 seconds, but in De Gendt's words, they "rode like hell," and the peloton was unable to catch them before the line. In commenting on the race, Bob Roll explained how the breakaway survived (I'm paraphrasing here): When you're in a breakaway with Jens Voigt, you know two things. You are going to suffer and you're going to have a chance of winning.
In other cycling news, we had a tough training session this morning in the good doctor's garage. I had a hard time keeping up, but since we were all stuck on trainers (or, in the doctor's case, rollers), I didn't lose any ground. That will change soon enough as we get this horrible winter behind us, and the group gets me behind them on the road.