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Snow predicted to fall on Amgen Tour of California start in Tahoe

Hopefully snowplows will not be necessary when the Amgen Tour of California peloton climbs Mt. Baldy.

Hopefully snowplows will not be necessary when the Amgen Tour of California peloton climbs Mt. Baldy. (Image credit: Bruce Hildenbrand)

Foul winter weather is predicted to arrive in the high-altitude Sierra Mountains around Lake Tahoe this weekend and could affect the start of the Amgen Tour of California on May 15. AEG Sports, organizers of the eight-day race, have announced that they have come up with alternate plans just in case the weather causes stage one - and potentially even stage two -  route restrictions.

"We're working carefully with all relevant public safety and weather forecast entities," said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports.

"We have developed a number of contingency plans, and when the Sunday weather forecast becomes clearer we will, in consultation with the teams, public safety organizations, and commissares, make a decision which will represent the best and safest course of action."

The current conditions around Lake Tahoe are in the mid-60s Fahrenheit and sunny. However, temperatures are expected to drop significantly and the snow is predicted to roll in as early as Saturday, May 14. The weather could even worsen into Sunday’s race start where temperatures are expected to hover around the mid-30s Fahrenheit with a 70 percent chance of snow.

The 2011 Amgen Tour of California will kick off in South Lake Tahoe with the peloton scheduled to race clockwise around the scenic blue lake for one and half laps before finishing in the city of North Lake Tahoe for a stage total of 191km. Stage two will also begin in North Lake Tahoe and take the riders on a lengthy 214km route concluding in Sacramento.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.