Le Tour 2014 is officially under way, after a most Grand Depart in Leeds; stage 1 was a meandering tour of Yorkshire, in the North of the UK, with just enough little climbs and big rollers to keep things interesting. The weather was perfect and the crowds were huge and enthusiastic, a great start to what should be a great tour.
Jens Voight was part of the initial break and finally attacked out of it to lead most of the way and gather enough points to be initial leader of the King of the Mountains, yay, Jens! And just as the peleton regrouped for a final sprint, Fabian Cancellara attacked and nearly won. But he didn't, and Marcel Kittel did (just like last year), after Mark Cavendish crashed in the runup to the finish (just like last year). Peter Sagan took second and staked his claim to the green jersey.
Along with welcoming back a great spectacle and competition, it was so nice to hear Phil (Liggett) and Paul (Sherwin) back in action. Todd Harris is fine as MC, Bob Roll is pleasant and insightful, and this year we have Christian Vandenberg, who isn't quite as polished but makes interesting observations. And I love having Steve Porino out there in the middle of the peleton on a bike; he seems to know all the Directors Sportif intimitely, and brings great in-race insights.
Tomorrow brings another lumpy stage with narrow roads and nine categorized climbs, could be a day for a break!