The first two stages of the Amgen Tour of California Women's Race are scheduled Friday and Saturday at South Lake Tahoe. The terrain and weather are on the minds of the riders.
There's a 40-percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday. For Leah Kirchmann, riding for the Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies team (OPW), Tahoe reminds her of home in Canada.
"I'm actually pretty excited about the snow. It's bringing me back to the days when I was a cross-country skier living in Winnipeg and training in -50 and so I'm pretty used to the cold weather. I'm looking forward to it. It's a good challenge."
A 2011 men's tour stage at Tahoe was moved because of snow.
Michael Roth with tour operator A-E-G says he does not expect weather to delay Stage One of the women's race -74.5 miles around the lake.
“If there's any issues, they can stop it on a dime. Happened in Colorado this year. Our race was stopped just before finish when we had some weather issues, but people are telling me that we have no worries.”
Alison Tetrick is from Petaluma and also rides for OPW. She says she likes most of the course set up by two-time Olympian Adam Duvendeck.
"There is some flat sections after we get down Emerald Bay and then you get right back to undulating and then coming screaming downhill towards South Lake Tahoe, which I thought was great, and I thought we were finishing in South Lake Tahoe and then Adam threw that turn where we go up to Heavenly and that is 4.1 K, but who's counting, of really tough terrain there."
This year, the women's race includes four stages. That's two more than last year.
Stage Two is scheduled for Saturday -starting at Heavenly Mountain Resort, following Highway 50 to Highway 89, then returning to Heavenly.
Stage Three is in Sacramento and will take place while the men are in Solano and Yolo counties riding during their first stage.
The forecast for day two and three is sunny.
Eighty-two women are scheduled to ride in this year's race. This is the first year the women's event will have four stages.