Portugal's got the whole racing thing down, and they absolutely know how to run a good race. The hotel we stayed in was just outside Santa Cruz on the beach. And the beach was nice, it had the whole deal... the sand, the waves, the occasional boat, the sun... and what would be a nice lazy vacation if we weren't racing.
The racing in Portugal is all-in. The terrain is endlessly rolling with the occasional 2 km 20% climb with the 3rd category rating which absolutely everyone goes for. &, to add to the fun there's not one rider who isn't on the full program...
I thought I'd come into the race with much better legs than it turned out. In the end it was more of a day to day thing than overall, though I was nowhere near taking a stage, rather I was more able to enter the mix and follow a move or two by the end of the race. I think in the end it was good preparation for what's to come in the tour of Portugal, and certainly a heads up as to how they'll be going: insanely and slightly unbelievably well.