Yeppers, I finished the race and it was hard. As expected. I wasn't even last on GC, that's a plus! I raced my bike like an American, which saw me wasting a lot of precious energy at times. But, I learned about 500 times more about racing smart and strong than I learned all year in the USA. Nice.
So some comments about European racing--
1) food, lodging, showers, pretty much everything included with the race entry
2) Belgian teams party at night as hard as they race during the day
3) Continental teams here are better than pro continental teams in the US!
4) 55 km/hr in crosswinds at the top of hills are hard
5) Drink your coffee out of a bowl while in France/Liege
6) Spanish is no good here!
7) Don't attack the grouppetto Matt
8) Don't attack the race during pee break time, even if you don't understand what is happening
9) Don't attack at all, just hang on and conserve for the next four 160 km stages
10) Liege-Bastonge-Liege is a bitch of a race, we did most of the climbs in that race during this Tour. La Redute is the biggest bitch of them all, the climb just kills you!
11) 53-12 is not a big enough gear at times during crosswinds....wow
12) If you can't spin in your 39-23 up every steep climb, you're getting dropped hardcore
13) Musette grabbing at 55 km/hr is hard
14) Sag climbing is my best friend
15) "Race meal" comes after breakfast, consisting of pasta and ketchup and cheese 3 hours before the stage
16) TT's here are short and technical. Don't crash like me in off camber 180 degree corners.
Resting up for the next three days to prepare for a one day UCI 1.2 race called Renninhaust. Should be a blast!