Stage 1 & 2 are finished here, and it has been a far cry from easy! Stage 1 was all systems go from the drop of the flag. There was a lot of wind, which wreaked havoc on the field. It took nearly 50km for the break to finally escape, but there was more than one time where the field split to pieces in the winds. I believe there were even some guys who never came back. That is a long day in the saddle! For us, we kept out of trouble and stayed in the front. It was nervous all day with the wind, but in the end, most of the field finished on the same time.
Today's stage 2 was a much different story. The race began full throttle as usual, and it never really stopped. After 15km, we started the first mountain of the day. It was one we did in the Vuelta actually. Today it wasn't any easier though! And there was snow on the top. After a fast descent, we were immediately onto the second climb. Kloeden had made it to the breakaway, which was great for us, but the field continued to chase hard, and the break was brought back on the third climb of the day. From there, the race was on again, not that it ever stopped! We did our best to mix in the attacks over the top of the climb. It was brutal with false flats and crosswinds. After what seemed like forever, a big group with all the big teams represented rolled away, containing Tiago. The field basically sat up at that point because no one had anything left! We were happy with our primary gc guy in there. Some more attacks were attempted, but nothing stuck until Luis Leon Sanchez attacked like a bullet. Linus was able to follow, and impressively, they made it to the front group. Tiago and Linus came away with 10th and 4th, so we have a good chance for a high gc going into tomorrow's queen stage. I finished with the field, quite tired from the days efforts. I hope I can ride strong tomorrow to help the team and hopefully a result myself. We'll have to see if the weather holds. They are predicting freezing temps and rain/snow. Allez!