Hello everyone, I'm still alive! Apologies for the hiatus, life's been a little chaotic since returning to the US after Liege. Lisa and I were in the process of moving into our new house, so between that and training for Tour of California, time was tight! Nonetheless, I'm at California now, and we completed stage one in record temperatures today, or so I was told. Evidently one of the towns we passed (Ramona) hit a record of 98'F today. I guess that would explain why it felt so hot out there! Other than it being impossible to drink enough to stay hydrated today, the stage was relatively uneventful. Things got a little "heated" on the final KOM of the day, and I'll admit that I felt quite under pressure as we rode it, but I felt much better about those sensations after the top when I looked back to see maybe 20 guys left. The group swelled after a few kilometers as guys chased back, and then it was a gamble to see if we would catch the breakaway. I was quite unsure myself because they had a sizable gap, but in the end it did come back and it was a late race attack that led to the eventual winner. I was there when the attacks began but unfortunately I hesitated, being concerned about not expending too much energy on the first stage, knowing there are much harder stages coming. Whatever the case, I finished with the main group 6 seconds back from the winner so there wasn't too much damage done. Tomorrow's stage is the longest at 200km, is supposed to be at least as hot as today, and features the first real test of the race: a 6km, ~10% climb for the finish. I have no idea what the climb will be like, but I'm betting there will be lots of suffering! I'll report my findings after the race tomorrow.