LAKE TAHOE (AP) – The largest professional cycling race in the U.S. will start at Lake Tahoe for the first time next May, but the change also means that some familiar tops will not be part of the 2011 tour.

AEG Sports president Andrew Messick says the 800-mile Amgen Tour of California will begin May 15 at South Lake Tahoe and end May 22 in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Carol Chaplin of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority says it’s a big deal for the local economy. She says it will put the lake on the map of “must ride” trips around the country.

“The 2011 Amgen Tour of California route is going to result in an exciting and compelling race,” said Lance Armstrong of Team Radioshack. “All of us at Team Radioshack are looking forward to it.”

Auburn is among the newcomers on the 15-stage route; also Livermore, Claremont and Mt. Baldy. The other stops are Sacramento, Modesto, San Jose, Seaside, Paso Robles, Solvang and Santa Clarita. Missing from the list of stage destinations are such traditional stops as Santa Rosa, San Francisco and Davis.

The first stage ends at Tahoe’s Northstar ski resort. Stage 2 starts at Squaw Valley USA, host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, before heading to Sacramento.

The tour will visit 15 Host Cities in all for official stage starts and finishes. Stages for the 2011 Amgen Tour of California include: 
Stage 1: Sunday, May 15 – South Lake Tahoe to North Lake Tahoe-Northstar at Tahoe Resort 

Stage 2: Monday, May 16 – North Lake Tahoe-Squaw Valley USA to Sacramento 

Stage 3: Tuesday, May 17 – Auburn to Modesto 

Stage 4: Wednesday, May 18 – Livermore to San Jose 

Stage 5: Thursday, May 19 – Seaside to Paso Robles 

Stage 6: Friday, May 20 – Solvang Individual Time Trial 

Stage 7: Saturday, May 21 – Claremont to Mt. Baldy 

Stage 8: Sunday, May 22 – Santa Clarita to Thousand Oaks

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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