Hello and welcome to the first stage of the Tour of California. We're about to get underway at 1:15 pm PDT.
We're live from the start of the Amgen Tour of California. The national anthem is about to start playing.
It's time to come out of hiding in the buses. It's still snowing, but the sun in peaking through. Welcome to Lake Tahoe in May!
In case you're wondering about our late start, we promise we didn't oversleep. The race was delayed by snow. The race has been shortened to just 80km / 50 miles.
Today's stage will finish at Northstar-at-Tahoe, a destination known to many mountain bikers in the region. Cyclingnews' Steve Medcroft is a bit further toward the finish, and he reports, "I am at Tahoe vista. The snow is quite a bit heavier and wetter. The roads are wet but it is still not creating slush on the road."
There is just 1km of neutral in our abbreviated stage today. The roads here are pretty dry. One minute until start.
There were a lot of mixed opinons in the peloton about whether to race today. The weather in this area is extremely changable which is why the Rabobank riders were some of those exhibiting so much trepidation today. Many of the Rabo riders were friends with Wouter Weylandt and are still dealing with those emotions and they aren't excited about taking risks.
The race organizer has said repeatedly that they have the riders safety in mind.
Announcement just came over race radio. "Hold for announcement on status of the race."
AEG president Andrew Messick said this morning that the extreme wind chill this morning (10 degrees F then) was too cold for the riders. We'll see if the deteriorating conditions will end the race.
Cyclingnews' Laura Weislo spoke with the medical staff this morning and they said the risk of hypothermia is minimal. Lying still in wet/cold/wind you lose one degree of body temperature per hour. A race this short wouldn't be a medical emergency. BUT, icy conditions would be dangerous and that is a big concern.
Looks like we have something like a rider protest: Riders seem to have decided not to race today's stage.
Messick is at the back of bunch talking to several riders who still do not want to race. Apparently one team is refusing to race and threatening to ride five miles and then return to the hotels.
This is certainly not the start to the Amgen Tour of California that we had been expecting!
We have word: Today's stage 1 is officially cancelled. The California highway patrol and the caravan have turned around.
Well, that wraps up our extremely brief live coverage for today. Please join us tomorrow for stage "2" from North Lake Tahoe to Sacramento. 214.4km are planned.
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