As Race Director Grunter von Agony looked on from his position at the finish village, it was a scene of complete and utter carnage at the end of the Tour of Sufferlandria’s Stage 2 “It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.” Riders who had been so confident after their efforts on Stage 1 came across the line in tatters and quickly collapsed into the crushing arms of the Sufferlandrian Troll volunteers. The blank, shocked looks told stories without words of a terrible battle back out there on the road.
With a forecast of Lava Snow on the upper slopes of Mt. Sufferlandria, and with Mt. Apocalypse making its first appearance in the race, it was clear from the very start that it wasn’t going to be an ordinary stage. There were some minor skirmishes on the first climb, but it was on the 2nd climb that many riders began to come unhitched, losing contact before the top and having to battle back on during the descent. The climb up Mt. Sufferlandria saw a Lava Snow storm and when the entire Colombian team attacked before Mt. Apocalypse it was all bets off on who would even still be on their bike, much less going for the win, at the finish.
As the finish approached, faces that were once full of confidence and vigor had become terrible and distraught. An endless onslaught of attacks left the feeble behind.
A small group, including perpetual protagonist The Big M as well as the Sufferlandrian, fought out the final sprint and….did you win? For those who held it together over the climbs and won the day, a night in the leader’s jersey may boost the confidence levels, but it will prove a heavy burden tomorrow during the sheer brutality of Stage 3.