Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 Amgen Tour of California

It seems like the Amgen Tour of California (ATOC) is cursed, weather-wise. This is the fourth straight year where inclement weather has hampered the greatest cycling race in America.

The 6th edition of the annual race was moved to the month of May from Febuary to take advantage of warmer weather and to stage two races in the high Sierra. Stage 1 was to take place at Lake Tahoe with the race start at South Lake Tahoe, circling the lake one and one-half times, and finishing at North Star on the north-shore.

A cold-front came sweeping in from Alaska on the evening before Stage 1 dumping 6-8" of snow at the lake level and more at the higher elevations. The conditions were too hazardous for the race to take place and Stage 1 was canceled.

Stage 2 was to start at Squaw Valley, go over Donner Summit, and head southwest to Sacramento via Nevada City. The road conditions at Donner Summit were too icy so the race start was moved to Nevada City and the course shortened by 57 miles.

This year I intended to follow the first four stages and photograph the races from locations that were compelling from a perspective of scenic interest. In spite of poor weather and changing race conditions, I was not to be deterred.

I was able to photograph stages 2 through 4 and the following blog entries document my attempt at catching some interesting race scenes.

Scroll down or click on "older posts" to view each stage.

You can also enlarge each pic by mousing over the photograph and clicking once/twice.

ATOC merchandise on sale


JimBob Regan rode his motorcycle to Spenceville Road to watch Stage 2 with me

The Amgen bear on my dash checking out recreational cyclists riding the course before the start of the race

Driving through Wheatland on my way back to Sacramento with race fans lining the street

Scroll down or click on "older posts" to continue onto Stage 2 blog

No comments: