As predicted, the first stage was anything but easy. The start was pretty chaotic. I stayed attentive and was able to even jump into a couple moves that looked kind of dangerous. Eventually things settled down and BMC took control of the field. They rode all day, asked for a little help during the second lap, but then decided to just go full gas. The field exploded over the series of three climbs that finished with 35km to go. I was doing ok until the last kilometer or so of the final climb. Some guys started attacking and the pace really went up. I lost contact near the top but was happy to see the group was only about 20 guys. Over the top the group I was with chased hard and we came back. We had Julian Arrendondo in the front group, but he was unable to cover all the attacks and some guys got away. When my group came back, we also had Leonardo and Julien and we started to chase immediately. We managed to bring the group back, but then the attacking started again. It was all out to the finish. In the end, we had four of us there and Julian sprinted to 7th. For me, it was all I could do to survive. The climbs were really difficult and then the attacking to the finish had me swallowing my heart and lungs multiple times. I was really happy to be in the group and hope I can continue to improve through the week. We'll see!