Friday, May 13, 2011
The Amgen Bike race will be back in Tahoe on Sunday and Monday. Riders are on the roads now training-give 'em space. Roads will be closed as they move through and then re-open. See below.
May 11, 2011(Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev.) – As the 2011 Amgen Tour of California makes it way through the Lake Tahoe region, residents and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead for rolling road closures – slight delays allowing the cyclists to pass – on Sunday, May 15 (Stage 1) and Monday, May 16 (Stage 2).
According to race officials, roads will close 20 to 30 minutes before the peloton passes and a few minutes after the cyclists go by. Tour course logs (with times and locations of rolling road closures) can be downloaded at www.TahoeAmgenTourofCalifornia.com;click on the News tab. The public is encouraged to park in designated parking lots, also on the website, and bike to points of interest on the race routes.
Sunday, May 15 – Stage 1
The Stage 1 2011 Amgen Tour of California around Lake Tahoe, Sunday, May 15, will be assisted by the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, in conjunction with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and El Dorado County Sheriff’s office.
In support of this event, Highway 50, (Lake Tahoe Boulevard) and State Route 89 (Emerald Bay Road) north of the “Y” will be closed to all vehicular traffic from 10:10 a.m. to approximately 10:45 a.m. for lap one. It will again close at approximately 12:45 p.m. and re-open at approximately 1:15 p.m. for lap two. The timing for the second closure can vary greatly depending on the speed of the race and how spread apart the riders get for their second stint through the city.
For times when the tour will pass a street or road in South Shore click here.Officials suggest providing at least a 30-minute window on each side of the time listed. All times are approximate.
In North Lake Tahoe, the CHP is handling the rolling road closures on both the California and Nevada sides of the lake. Based on the Race Day Map, motorists can expect Highway 28 to be closed approximately 11:20 to 11:55 a.m. at the Tahoe City Y during lap one and between 2:20 to 2:55 p.m. during lap two. In Kings Beach, it’s 11:45 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. for lap one and 2:45 to 3:20 p.m. for lap two, as well as noon to 12:35 p.m. in Incline Village.
Monday, May 16 – Stage 2
On Monday, May 16, the Amgen Tour of California will be coming from Squaw Valley USA through Truckee. The Truckee Police Department, in conjunction with the CHP, will be providing traffic control for this event while it is in the Town of Truckee.
The event will enter Town limits on State Route 89 (SR-89) from Squaw Valley. It will continue northbound on SR-89 to Donner Pass Road, make a left turn onto westbound Donner Pass Road and continue on Donner Pass Road along Donner Lake, up to Old US-40 and the Donner Summit area.
Road closures will be of a short duration as the cyclists pass major intersections and should start about 9:50 a.m. on SR-89 and West River Street, and at about 10 a.m. at SR-89 and Donner Pass Road, progressing westbound on Donner Pass Road to the Donner Lake area and finally exiting Town limits by 10:30 a.m. Motorists can expect delays of up to 20 minutes at each of the major intersections. CHP officers will accompany the cyclists on motorcycles.
Motorists are urged to drive with caution and follow directions of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff, Truckee Police Department and CHP officers, as well as race officials as the race passes by. Times for the Amgen Tour of California race are approximate, based on average speeds of the peloton and are subject to change.
For a complete calendar of Tahoe’s 10-Day Countown, events leading up to the race (May 5-14), as well as activities during Stage 1 (May 15) and Stage 2 (May 16), click tohttp://www.TahoeAmgenTourofCalifornia.
Ideas on Places to watch:
South Lake Tahoe to Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort via West Shore
The first option is following the peloton from the start (10:30 a.m.) in South Lake Tahoe as it makes its way west through the commercial core and onto Emerald Bay Road (between 11:09 a.m. - 11:16 a.m.) on the West Shore, then into Tahoe City (11:49 a.m. - 12:03 p.m.) and Kings Beach (12:11 p.m. – 12:29 p.m.). From Kings Beach, the riders will continue on Highway 28 to the East Shore, while spectators will turn north onto Highway 267 (Brockway Summit) and head to the finish line (3:12 p.m. - 4 p.m.)
South Lake Tahoe to Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort via East Shore
The second possibility has spectators taking in the start in South Lake Tahoe and experiencing the festivities at Lake Tahoe Expo at the Horizon Casino Resort after the riders have left. Spectators are then advised to head onto Highway 50, heading to the East Shore and catching the riders in Crystal Bay (12:15 p.m. - 12:34 p.m.) or Incline Village (between 12:21 p.m. - 12:40 p.m.), before making the turn north onto Highway 267 and gettting to the Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort for the finish (3:12 p.m. - 4 p.m.).
Per the California Highway Patrol, Brockway Summit (Highway 267) will close 20 to 30 minutes before the race passes. Spectators who are interested in viewing the finish should be over the summit before the racers come through.
Lake Tahoe's Best Climbs – Kings of the Mountain
Another option involves staking out a spot along Lake Tahoe's scenic race course. According to the region's cycling gurus, some of the best spots are on a steep climb or at the bottom of a precipitous descent.
"The climbs are ideal," said Dean Schaecher, an avid Lake Tahoe cyclist and owner of The Pour House wine bar in Truckee. "As the cyclists ascend, their speeds slow, which gives spectators an opportunity to see these racers up close and personal. But equally as engaging, although I hesitate to mention it, are the downward slopes, when if you take it too fast – well, it's what we call carnage."
Iconic Emerald Bay is one of Lake Tahoe's most photographed areas and a fantastic spot to watch the racers, predicted to top the summit between 11:09 a.m. and 11:16 a.m. This is the first of three Kings of the Mountain race finishes for Stage 1. Parking here, on the West Shore, is tight with only two parking lots available: Eagle Falls Trail Head and Vikingsholm Visitors Center. Spectators' best bet is to get there early.
Another ideal viewing area is Spooner Summit on the northeast corner of the lake, where Highways 50 and 28 intersect. It's also where the cyclists will make the long and steady ascent to an elevation of 7,150 feet around 12:50 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. This is the second King of the Mountain finish. There are three parking lots here: Spooner Lake State Park, Snow Park and the Tahoe Rim Trail Access Road.
The last climb is over Brockway Summit on Highway 267 to 7,000 feet and is the last King of the Mountain finish, which is expected to take place between 3:03 p.m. and 3:52 p.m. Parking is extremely limited with just a few pull out stops and hiking trails parking.
And for those that just can't get enough "carnage" during Stage 1, the descent of Emerald Bay on the West Shore has riders reaching speeds of 40 miles per hour into the flats of Homewood (11:30 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.). The Spooner Summit descent has cyclists going even faster – 45 miles per hour – as they descend back toward the lake to the tunnel at Cave Rock. After cresting Brockway Summit, the lead group will plunge down a rapid descent into a hard left turn onto Northstar Drive (3:09 p.m. - 4 p.m.), where both sprinters and climbers will set-up for a high-speed blast to the finish line at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort (3:12 p.m. - 4:03 p.m.).
As part of the Stage 2 route from Squaw Valley USA to Sacramento, May 16, the 1,000-foot climb up Old Highway 40 to scenic Rainbow Bridge (10:55 a.m. – 11:02 a.m.) offers spectacular views along with close ups of the riders. However, there is only one parking lot at this summit.
The Stage 2 Start at the Village at Squaw Valley (10:15 a.m.), under the Olympic Rings, might be a better option, especially as racers make a celebratory one-and-a-half laps around the village before departing onto Squaw Valley Road. Spectators can see cyclists fine tune their bikes before checking in with race officials, and after the start they can enjoy leisurely meals at nearby cafes and restaurants.
Other Ideal Viewing Venues – Special Viewing Parties
Lake Tahoe's commercial cores are perfect for viewing the Stage 1 peloton as many are hosting special viewing parties, such as South Lake Tahoe's MontBleu Resort, Casino & Spa, the official start of the race (10:30 a.m.), as well as Heavenly Village and Embassy Suites; Ski Run Blvd. (10:39 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.) the "Y," where 89 and 50 intersect, a BMX Demo will be taking place showcasing Olympic medalists (10:47 p.m. - 10:50 a.m.); Homewood Moountain Ski Resort on the West Shore (11:45 a.m.); Tahoe Tree Company, just outside of Tahoe City on the West Shore (11:49 a.m. – 12:03 p.m.); Heritage Plaza in downtown Tahoe City; Tahoe Vista State Recreation Area in Tahoe Vista; Blue Onion Café and the Old Brockway Golf Course in Kings Beach (12:11 p.m. - 12:29 p.m.); the historic Crystal Bay casino corridor (12:15 p.m. - 12:34 p.m.); Incline Village on the North Shore (12:21 p.m. - 12:40 p.m.) with a party at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe; and Zephyr Cove on the East Shore (1:30 p.m.).
Along the Stage 2 route, a fantastic viewing spot is the Truckee "mousehole" (10:37 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.), the site of the King of the Mousehole Sprint, where Highway 89 crosses under the Union Pacific Railroad through a narrow 25-foot wide concrete arch structure, as well as along Donner Pass Road (10:38 a.m. - 10:42 a.m.).