As lactic acid rain came down over the town of Agonia, 2,366 Sufferlandrians from around the world began the first stage of the Tour of Sufferlandria.
With a leisurely preamble through the town, where Sufferlandrian flags flew from every home, the riders had a chance to reflect on the off-season, trade insults with each other and look forward to a glorious 9 day beating each other into the ground."How fitting for the start of the tour!" said Jessica Gray. "Hungover, doing the tour in the middle of a split shift and it just started thunder and lightening!"
As the pace began to quicken, there was a quick and unexpected, but not entirely unwelcome, detour into a local kitchen for some cooking lessons. At this point, some riders were under the wrong impression about Stage 1 - such as Niclas Schönning "After a the warmup I thought this should be easy but I was wrong. Last ten minutes was as promised by Sufferfest." As soon as the pack pulled out of the kitchen, a break went up the road with Tommy Voeckler and Geert Steegmans, along with a host of other riders from visiting teams like Sky, Omega-Pharma and Europcar. The Sufferlandrians latched on and through the howling cross-winds, over the cobbles and bergs and under a torrential rain, went blow for blow with the world's best professionals. After sitting on the back of the break all day, Voeckler was motivated to attack after passing a school in which the young children had written "VOECKLER = COUCHLANDRIAN" on a large sign. The break hesitated and only the Sufferlandrian went with him. It was a nail-biting, chamois twisting finish thanks to a fast closing group of chasers and a long, drawn-out sprint finish -- but it appears the Sufferlandrian took the victory.
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