Tour of California: Waiting on the Weather

The Tour of California organizers have just released a statement on how they’ll respond to the onset of potentially dangerous winter weather on the planned Stage 1 course around Lake Tahoe on Sunday:

The 2011 Amgen Tour of California is scheduled to kick off Sunday, May 15, in South Lake Tahoe at 10:30 a.m. PT. As everyone is aware, there is a storm front predicted to reach the area. Therefore race organizers, in conjunction with the commissaires, teams and public safety organizations, have developed a number of contingency plans with the safety of the riders and fans being the number one priority. The weather is constantly changing in the Sierras, and our team will be assessing weather conditions throughout the morning. A decision on any changes to the route and timing will be made at 9 a.m. PT tomorrow, and will ultimately be based on what is best and most safe for our riders and spectators. Details will be distributed on the official race website and via email.
– Andrew Messick, President of AEG Sports, presenter of the Amgen Tour of California

I’ll only note that as the clock strikes midnight, the latest weather reports show light snow at Lake Tahoe Airport and at Blue Canyon, on Interstate 80 at about 5,200 feet west of Donner Summit. The National Weather Service office in Reno notes that on May 15, 1984, the town of Truckee recorded 4 inches of snow. Winter can last a while in the high country.

Some other links on weather and race speculation:

Cyclingnews: Contingencies in Place for Amgen Tour of California Weather San Jose Mercury News: Tour of California may have to change course for first day because of snowstorm Los Angeles Times: Snow, ice threaten start of Tour of California cycling race Tour of California can’t get a break Sacramento Bee: Tour of California officials ponder options

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