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Tour Of California Delayed By Severe Tahoe Weather

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Levi Leipheimer in the Tour of California. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Levi Leipheimer in the Tour of California. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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LAKE TAHOE (CBS 5) — Due to severe weather conditions in the Lake Tahoe area, the start of the 800-mile Tour of California bicycle race was canceled Sunday.

Tour officials initially said what was to be Stage 1 — a 118.7-mile loop around Lake Tahoe that was to finish at Northstar at Tahoe Resort — would be shortened to approximately 50 miles.

Later though, officials said the weather was just too extreme and forecast to get worse as the day progressed.

Andrew Massick, the tour’s president, said the weather-shortened race would now begin with Stage 2 on Monday at Squaw Valley. That stage ends in Sacramento.

“The riders discussed as a group and we just don’t feel comfortable riding knowing what can happen (in severe weather),” said 37-year-old Levi Leipheimer, of Santa Rosa, a three-time Tour of California champion.

“We still have a full week of racing ahead of us,” Leipheimer said of the delayed start. “With the weather conditions the way they are, racing today is just not possible.”

(© 2011 CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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