While the general classification contenders at the Tour of California have been biding their time waiting for Friday’s time trial at Big Bear Lake to set the pecking order heading into the Queen Stage on Mt. Baldy, Mother Nature has been brewing up her own surprise for the race.
Current weather forecasts call for rain and snow at Big Bear, which sits about 2,100 meters above sea level, beginning Thursday, with a possible 2-5 inches of snow falling throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures are expected to dip into the low 20s (F) overnight, with a second wave of snow falling Friday afternoon.
Kristin Bachochin Klein, executive director of the race, told Cyclingnews before the starts of Today’s stage in Pismo Beach that organisers are aware of the forecast and have been monitoring the situation closely.
“Safety is first and foremost for the teams, the riders the staff and the fans," Bachochin Klein said. “We’ll keep you posted once we do have an update. Since the inception of the race in 2006 there’s always been contingency plans, and we’ll keep you posted as we have more information.”
The 24.2km stage 6 time trial is scheduled to start at 12:47 p.m. and finish at 3:45. The women’s time trial that precedes the men is scheduled for an 11 a.m. start.
The Tour of California has experienced snow issues before when a planned stage at Lake Tahoe in 2011 had to be cancelled after Mother Nature dumped a large amount of snow on the route. That stage was moved to a lower elevation start in Nevada City.