Most Grand Tours start easy. A cute little prologue time trial. Maybe a flat, touristy route through fields of sunflowers to open up the legs and acclimate the peloton to the rigours of racing. Not in Sufferlandria. Stage 1 is like being strapped to a rocket pointed straight at the sun. This is a one-way ticket to ouchy-town that will see some aggressive racing right from the gun. Riders will be forced to chase down attack after blistering attack, follow some of the fastest wheels in the women’s peloton, and hang on for dear life if they hope to make it to the middle the stage. Threshold power and anaerobic capacity will be pushed to the limit. The second half gets even more intense, with a technical course that will test handling skills and nerves. Riders will have to jockey for position if they want to make the final selection and prove their worth. Clocking in at just under two hours, Stage 1 will test the peloton’s endurance as well as their sanity. It is part rite of passage, part trial by fire. Coming in at a hefty 4 volcanoes, Stage 1, presented by Wahoo Fitness, Who Dares + The Rookie. *workout target timings have been fixed for The Rookie section.