178 of the world’s best cyclists representing 18 teams from around the world kicked off the Tour of California in Nevada City today at 12:25. The organizers of the Amgen Tour of California announced a drastic modification to the start of stage two due to the winter weather and icy road conditions in Tahoe. This decision was made at midnight before the scheduled morning start at Squaw Valley. Stage One was canceled the day before, so the 2011 Tour of California began on Broad St in downtown Nevada City. “Thanks to the quick action taken by Duane Strawser, organizer of the annual Tour of Nevada City bike race, 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 the organizing AEG Sports. With only 8 hours notice Nevada City pulled off the closure of roads, facilitated the staging area for the bike teams and buses, lined Broad St with flags and a starting arch, took care of the media and spectators, and even brought out a little sun on a chilly day.
Front and center in this photo is Levi Leipheimer of team Radio Shack, three time winner of the Tour of California talking with Andy Schleck of Leopard Trek, 2nd place finisher in last year’s Tour De France. To the right of them is David Zabriskie of Garmin-Cervelo. For the second year now Nevada City has hosted the beginning of the Tour of California. The spectators lined the streets and cheered as they headed out of town on the 60-mile leg down to downtown Sacramento.
For more photos of today’s event, either visit our Facebook page. Next month on Father’s Day is the 51st annual Tour of Nevada City Bicycle Classic race, always a fun event to watch, especially since they ride past the Outside Inn!