Amgen's Stage 2 to start in Nevada City instead of Squaw Valley

05/16/2011 7:28 AM

05/16/2011 10:16 AM

Icy road conditions prompted Amgen Tour of California officials to move the start of today's second stage from Squaw Valley to Nevada City, with a 12:15 p.m. start planned. The sixth annual pro cycling race is still expected to arrive in Sacramento about 3 p.m.

The original 133.2-mile route has been shortened to approximately 72 miles. Following the cancellation of Sunday's opening stage from South Lake Tahoe to Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, the change means no racing at all in the Lake Tahoe area.

Riders are scheduled to follow the original route from Nevada City, at a lower elevation of 2,500 feet, and enter Sacramento around 3 p.m.

In Sacramento, riders will complete 3 1/2 circuits around the state Capitol instead of the original 1 1/2 loops.

"Thanks to the quick action taken by Duane Strawser, Nevada City's 2010 local organizing committee (LOC) chairman, we were able to make this location change, allowing us a great and practical location to lead off today's race," said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, which owns and operates the race.

The change means Nevada City will host the overall start for the second consecutive year and Sacramento will repeat as host of the first stage finish.

"Nevada City did an outstanding job hosting the first stage of the 2010 race, and we know that the riders and fans will appreciate the return," Messick said.

After snow, ice, wind and cold temperatures forced the cancellation of Sunday's first stage, race officials expressed concern about conditions today on Donner Pass Road, which was to have taken riders up over the summit, at 7,239 feet elevation.

The third stage from Auburn to Modesto is scheduled for Tuesday.

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