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Nothing much was visible to the electronic eye today, which is terribly disappointing, predictable, and in line with my long-standing arguments about how the real season has barely started. But at least we know what happened:

Monte Paschi Strade Bianche: Philippe Gilbert opens his account for what promises to be an awesome season with the victory of a second or two over Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego. Follow this link for a short video and some audio. Looks like Gilbert thoroughly outclassed the two Italians in the finale, though if my Italian is working a group of 20 corridori were together until the final km. Nice, dry day in Tuscany, and nice little tip of the cap to the race's purpose by Gilbert and a few others, who began the race with spare tires slung over their shoulders! Results (VDS here):

  1. Philippe Gilbert
  2. Alessandro Ballan
  3. Damiano Cunego
  4. Jure Kocjan
  5. Fabian Cancellara

Driedaagse West Vlaanderen: Not much info coming out except that it was a massespurt in Bellegem today, won by (who else?) HTC's John Degenkolb over countryman Robert Wagner (leoparDschleck) and Jens Keukeleire (Cofidis). Jesse Sergeant (Shack) retains his overall lead.

Vuelta a Murcia: Alberto Contador is wearing his Saxo Bank colors well, notching his first victory of the season in the queen stage of the Vuelta a Murcia. Unfortunately for him, he brought Denis Menchov and Jerome Coppel with him nearly to the line, and heads into tomorrow's time trial with a 3" lead on the Frenchman and 5" on the Russian. Contador is no slouch in a time trial, so his chances of hanging on are decent, but Menchov is the favorite (IMHO) tomorrow.