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Amgen Tour of California two weeks away, volunteers wanted for Tahoe stage

Sebastian Foltz
sfoltz@tahoedailytribune.com
Riders make their way around Lake Tahoe during Stage 1 of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California women's race last May.
Doug Pensinger / Getty Images |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — With this year’s Amgen Tour of California a little over two weeks away from rolling into the Lake Tahoe Basin, organizers are still seeking volunteers to serve as course marshals for race day, Thursday, May 19.

“You get a ringside seat,” Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority events coordinator Mike Frye said. “You don’t have to have any experience.”

Volunteers will be strategically located around the course and may sign up for specific sites along the route. Those who participate will be required to attend a brief orientation Thursday evening, May 12, starting at 6 p.m. at the LTVA offices, off of U.S. Highway 50 in Stateline.

“It’s pretty straightforward. The shifts aren’t long,” Fry said, “and you get a shirt and a hat.”

Volunteers are asked to work four-hour shifts on race day. Organizers are looking for between 300-400 volunteers to assist on both the men’s and women’s courses. Job responsibilities will primarily include assisting race staff and local law enforcement authorities along the route, monitoring pedestrian traffic, road closures and keeping spectators informed as the race progresses.

Volunteers can sign up at http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com/tour/volunteer.

Contact Mike Frye for additional information at mike@ltva.org or by calling 775-588-5900, ext. 309.

YEARS TO COME?

This year’s Tour of California is once again expected to feature some of the world’s top cyclists, including past Olympians and Tour de France participants. Since it began in 2006, the multi-stage pro-cycling competition has been scheduled to have a stop in Tahoe two other times. Snow in 2014, however, caused a reroute of the men’s tour, which meant missing Tahoe. Last year the women’s race included a stage that circled the lake with both a start and finish at the South Shore.

This year’s event features both the men’s and women’s competitions coming through Tahoe.

“It’s a great platform to showcase how great Tahoe is,” LTVA director Carol Chaplin said, describing global broadcasts of the competition both on TV and streaming online. “We get huge promotional value out of it.”

South Lake Tahoe city spokeswoman Tracy Franklin credited Chaplin and the LTVA for bringing the event to town.

“They deserve all the credit. If it wasn’t for her [Chaplin], I don’t think we would have gotten it.”

In addition to media exposure, both Franklin and Chaplin hope the competition will deliver an immediate economic impact.

“We hope it’s an annual event and keeps returning,” Franklin said. “I think it’s great for our community. I think it’s great for local business.”

After starting in Lodi, California, the men’s race will conclude Stage 5 at the California Lodge base area of Heavenly Mountain Resort.

Stage 1 of the women’s race will both start and finish at the California Lodge. The women’s stage will include a clockwise lap around Lake Tahoe.

TRAFFIC impact

Organizers expect traffic delays to be minimal on race day with rolling closures around the Tahoe Basin. Officials ask residents and guests to plan accordingly.

“They’re really not that long,” Chaplin said of the delays. “If people are planning around the time frames, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

“In the morning it’s going to be minimal. They’ll be riding the speed limit,” Frye added. “People should give themselves 20-30 minutes on each side of the scheduled closures.”

He also noted that motorists at the South Shore should make alternate plans between roughly 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Lake Tahoe Unified School District will operate on a half-day schedule the day of the race.

The women’s race is expected to start at 10:50 a.m. Thursday, May 19, with rolling closures headed toward Camp Richardson. Riders are expected to reach Camp Richardson around 11:10 a.m. Organizers have planned for women riders to return to the South Shore via Spooner Summit and U.S. Highway 50 around 1:20 p.m., with the stage finish to be around 2 p.m.

Men’s riders will start in the morning in Lodi. They are expected to reach Meyers via Luther Pass at approximately 3:15 p.m. Stage 5 of the men’s race will likely conclude around 3:45 p.m. Riders will follow Pioneer Trail before finishing in the California Lodge parking area.

The eight-stage men’s race will begin in San Diego May 15 and end in Sacramento May 22. The three-stage women’s race will start in South Lake Tahoe and finish in Santa Rosa on May 21.

Additional race information is available at http://www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.


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