Stage 2 Start – Nevada City
Due to extreme weather conditions and potentially unsafe roads, Stage 1 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California was cancelled just before the riders were about to begin the race. Again, due to uncertain weather and road conditions, race organizers determined that the way to ensure a complete course for Stage 2 was to move the official start to 12:15 p.m. PDT today and to change the start location to Nevada City, California. Today’s start was originally scheduled to take place in Squaw Valley, California. We caught up with a few riders to get their thoughts on the last 24 hours.
Lucas Euser – Team SpiderTech powered by Planet Energy
Every rider here is bummed out. The race organizers are bummed out. I really wanted to do that stage. Ultimately there is nothing you can do. You can’t fight the elements. You have to succumb to the weather when it does what it did. Even today, driving down to the start, there was snow falling from the trees that would have taken us out. It’s unfortunate because it’s such a gorgeous area. I grew up skiing in Lake Tahoe. It came with some good memories for me. I was really hoping to ride around the lake. We’re going to keep going and put this behind us. There is a good race coming ahead of us. It’ll be a great finish into Sacramento. The circuits definitely add something for the spectators. As we go further south we get better weather and everything will go as planned.
J.J. Haedo - Saxo Bank-Sungard
We started in Nevada City last year and I thought it was beautiful then. Too bad the weather has been changing. Yesterday the race organizers made the right decision. It was not a riders protest but a decision by the organization. It feels like we have been here for a long time. We are very excited about getting started today. I am looking forward to seeing the people along the road. Today the sprinters will take control. I won a stage in Sacramento and last year I came in second so I know the course. I know what I should do.
Jesse Anthony – Kelly Benefit Startegies-Optum Health
I am just excited to race. It’s a shame that we were not able to race yesterday, but I really appreciate what the race organizers, fans, supporters, race volunteers, race staff have done. They are doing the best they can and I really appreciate that. It never gets mentioned in interviews and discussions. These people are working super hard and they are doing this so that we can race….that is the bottom line. If they didn’t do any of this, and take on all of the stress, we would not be able to race. I am really thankful for this opportunity and am looking forward to racing so game on.
Ben King – Team RadioShack
It’s a real disappointment to not race but it would have also been a real disappointment to race in those conditions. I think the right decision was made. It’ll be great and long week of racing. Shortening the stage today…it should not change the outcome of the stage. Guys will be a little bit fresher and the sprinters will be a little bit faster. It will definitely be a hard day.
Jen Voigt – LEOPARD-TREK
First I need to say how breathtakingly beautiful Lake Tahoe is…absolutely breathtaking. Every corner is a postcard shot…unbelievable. It is such a bummer to get punished by the weather. We have been here for a few days now. It was not hot. It was perfect weather. We had blue skies and sunshine. We could see the spectacular snow covered mountain in the background. It was just beautiful and we really punished by that bad weather. In the end, there was no other choice but to cancel the stage. There was a lot of snow an ice on the road. Even the motobikes traveling with the race crashed on the icy road. There was no other choice. At least today we get a chance to do our job….our sport. I hope that the weather stabilizes and gives us no snow. We hope it will turn out to be a good stage. We hope to deliver a spectacular stage for the fans.
Stage 3 starts in Auburn and will be one of the last stages for the sprinters to showcase their speed. The town of Ione will serve as the first Sprint location of Stage 3. The second Sprint of Stage 3 will be in the town of Oakdale, and from there it will be 17 miles to the start of two circuit laps in downtown Modesto. Start time for Stage 3 will be 10:15 PDT.