In response to anticipated weather conditions, officials have moved the start of stage 2 of the 2011 mgen Tour of California to Nevada City, CA. The start time has also been delayed to 12:15 Pacific Time. This essentially moves the start along the original route to the location and time it was expected to pass the new start location, thus allowing the rest of the 61 miles to follow the originally planned route.
The route was expected to leave Squaw Valley and pass over Donner Pass. However, the threat of more winter-like conditions again raised concerns for the safety of riders, spectators and crew, prompting this change.
This will mark the second year that Nevada City has hosted a stage start, the first being Stage 1 of the 2010 Tour. Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, also spoke of the possibility of a return again:
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. We owe a debt of gratitude to Andy Chapman, Carol Chaplin and everyone in Squaw Valley, who worked tirelessly to create what would have been an exceptional Stage 2 start and hope that we will have an opportunity to bring the Amgen Tour of California to the city in a future year.
This change will have some rewards for spectators in Sacramento, CA however. Originally the route was scheduled to make only a single pass around the state capital building. However, in light of the shortened course race officials have increased that to 3 circuits through the heart of the city.
According to officials:
Following the peloton’s 12:15 p.m. PT departure from Nevada City, California, the riders will travel approximately 61 miles to Sacramento, picking up the original Stage 2 route. The riders will enter Sacramento at approximately 3 p.m. PT and complete three circuit laps before finishing in front of the Capitol Building between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m. PT. The race’s original schedule called for only one complete circuit, but due to the modified course, the additional two circuits were able to be added.