This just in from the Amgen organizers.
Due to severe and unsafe weather conditions in the Lake Tahoe area, the start of Stage 1 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California has been delayed.This is really hard to understand. For 2 hrs of riding, where nothing will be decided, the riders have to brave freezing (literally, when considering wind chill) conditions, with possible black icing on the Emerald Bay descent? There's 3-6" of snow on the ground in Tahoe, with temps still dropping. Total lunacy running this stage today, especially after Wouter Weylandt's fatal crash in the Giro.
If the weather improves, a shortened stage will be started at 1:15 p.m. PT. We will continue to monitor the weather conditions and state of the roads and make a final decision at noon PT, with the riders’ safety as our number one priority.
The new route will continue to take the riders from South Lake Tahoe to North Star up the west side of Lake Tahoe. The stage will be approximately 50 miles. There will be no changes to the timing or the finish line at North Star. The Lifestyle Festival at North Star will open at noon PT as scheduled with the Amgen Breakaway Mile also remaining on-schedule for 2:30 p.m. PT
I thought the obvious solution was to run stage #3 today, and do the Tahoe stage on Thursday when it warms up. In essence, shuffle the order of the stages as follows.
- Stage 3 today - forecast highs in low 60s with some rain
- Stage 2 Monday (start in Tahoe basin)
- Stage 4 Tuesday - forecast highs in low 60s with some rain
- Stage 5 Wednesday - high 50s with a 20mph cross and tailwind off the Pacific to rest tired legs
- Stage 1 in Tahoe Thursday in sunny, 55 degree temps
It's a good thing our generals don't suck this bad at decision-making. A week for contingency planning, and this is what they're going with? Thunderously stupid!!!