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ATOC Stage 1 CancelWatch: Snow Narrows Options for Sunday

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Toc-main_mediumThere is much discussion on the tweets about the possibility of the Amgen Tour of California having to deal with a snowstorm as the backdrop of its curtain-raising stage, a ride from South Lake Tahoe to the Northstar ski resort. As far as I can tell, there's a big low pressure parked over the Gulf of Alaska that is expected to start pounding the Northwest with rain later in the day Saturday. Given its size, I am assuming this is the same system which is expected to bring snow into the Lake Tahoe area Saturday evening. The Tahoe forecast calls for temps up to the low 40s on Sunday, so maybe there's a scenario where wet snow falls but is cleared off the roads in time for the race. Another scenario is where snow falls and stays there. Also, they're calling for winds that would make the North Sea blush.

Either way, what would be a gorgeous stage in a non-La Nina year is turning into a problem for the race organizers. They've told the media that they're considering all options, but seriously, what would those be? To escape the snow, you need to get down to lower elevations. Within the lakeshed the only lower elevations are under water, and I don't see the riders' union buying off on that. Remember, those Tirreno-Adriatico posters are not actual photographs. For warmer environs they'd need to move the race pretty far away. Like, Carson City, where it would be a good 10 degrees warmer and possibly dry. Or the Sacramento Valley, where the race is due to arrive Monday. Logistically this "option" sounds like pure fantasy, but tomorrow the race is holding its big press conference, so maybe they'll let us know if "all options" include anything more than "fuck it, let's race" and "canceled."