We all know Cycling remains the same blue-collar sport it's always been, but if you spend a few years skimming the headlines, it's tempting to believe otherwise. You can imagine a world where the elite cyclists live a life of dating celebrities, crashing expensive cars, and moving to Monaco for tax purposes. Then a day like today comes along: four or five hours in March, through rain and snow, over five rated climbs including an 800-meter vertical slog up the cat-1 Col de la Croix du Chabouret. The fans will be nonexistent, the rewards minimal, the purpose nothing more than a hard day's training at race pace. In historically shitty weather.
The elite may be elite, and even the rank-and-file Pro Tour guys are elite in their own right, but today... they're all grunts. Enjoy, because they won't.