Picture this: seven months of hard work, sacrifices, pain and anticipation. And when the big day came, well, it actually didn’t come. And now maybe tomorrow won’t be the big day either.

Stage 1 of Tour of California was scheduled for Sunday May 15. Stage 1 was a 191 km course around Lake Tahoe, NV & CA. On Friday I drove part of it and yesterday I rode part of it. The scenery is absolutely spectacular around the lake. I was really looking forward to today’s stage as my legs felt good yesterday on our group ride .

Mother Nature decided otherwise. We woke up this morning to a winter snow storm. At 5 am we were informed that the start time had been pushed back from 6 am to 11 am and the stage was being shortened from 191 km to 75 km. A further announcement was going to be made at 9 am.That is when we were told that stage 1 was cancelled for us. The new plan is to spend an hour at the gym being coached by Chris C and then drive to the stage hotel at noon. Disappointing but the right decision.

And so the Tour of California will now start tomorrow with stage 2 (hopefully). More news on that tomorrow as we are supposed to go over Donner Pass which stands at 7,000 feet and it is snowing quite hard at that elevation. Let’s take it one day at a time.

As a result of today’s cancellation, stage 5 has now replaced stage 1 as a “do well” stage for me. I am pretty happy about that as stage 5 – which was changed a couple weeks back because of landslides on the Pacific Coast Highway – now has four big climbs and 10,000 feet of elevation gain.

Here are a few pictures taken over the last couple days.

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 Stage Description from ToC’s website

The 2011 Amgen Tour of California’s overall start will begin on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful locations in all of the state. The race will roll-out through the Host City of South Lake Tahoe and head in a clockwise direction up the western shore of Lake Tahoe, where the riders will encounter the first of three KOMs (“King of [the] Mountain [climbs]”) on this stage at Emerald Bay (elev. 6,850’). The race will then continue north and descend into Tahoe City while working its way through the small towns on the north shore and past the casinos in Stateline, Nevada. The race will then continue to hug the shoreline on Lakeshore Blvd., ultimately connecting with Hwy. 28 to make the return trip to South Lake Tahoe. This will be the first time the Amgen Tour of California will venture outside of the Golden State. The 27 miles of race route in Nevada will provide compelling scenery, including Spooner Pass (elev. 7,000’), the second of the day’s KOMs, from which the beautiful blue waters of Lake Tahoe can be seen. Continuing south, the race will pass through South Lake Tahoe and head back north for another half lap around the lake. At King’s Beach on the north shore of the lake, the racers will make a left turn on Hwy. 267 and start the final 7.5 run to the finish, but waiting for them will be the 1,000’ climb to Brockway Summit that will take them to the highest point of the stage at 7,200’. After a quick descent and a left turn onto Northstar Dr., the racers will face the final 300’ of climbing up the 1.5-mile route to the finish in North Lake Tahoe at the spectacular Northstar at Tahoe Resort.

Map of Stage 1

Tour of California Stage 1 Map


Profile of Stage 1

Tour of California Stage 1 Profile