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Tour Of California Gets Underway After Weather Delays

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Andy Schleck of Luxemburg and riding for Leopard Trek is prepared for the weather as stage one of the 2011 AMGEN Tour of California from South Lake Tahoe to North Lake Tahoe was cancelled due to unsafe conditions. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Andy Schleck of Luxemburg and riding for Leopard Trek is prepared for the weather as stage one of the 2011 AMGEN Tour of California from South Lake Tahoe to North Lake Tahoe was cancelled due to unsafe conditions. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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NEVADA CITY (CBS) – After two days of cancellations and delays due to weather, the Amgen Tour of California has finally begun.

Riders left Nevada City just before 12:30 Monday to start Stage 2 of the race which has become their first leg.

PICTURES: Amgen Tour Of California

Stage 1 which was supposed to begin Sunday in South Lake Tahoe was cancelled due to icy roadways. Stage 2 was scheduled to start Monday morning from Squaw Valley, but more bad weather forced organizers to delay the start and move it further down the hill in Nevada City.

Crews scrambled to move the starting gate and other equipment from Squaw Valley to Nevada City.

“Thanks to the quick action taken by Duane Strawser, Nevada City’s 2010 local organizing committee (LOC) chairman, we were able to make this location change, allowing us a great and practical location to lead off today’s race,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race. “Nevada City did an outstanding job hosting the first stage of the 2010 race and we know that the riders and fans will appreciate the return.”

Riders were traveling 61 miles from Nevada City to Sacramento, picking up the original Stage 2 route. Riders were expected to enter Sacramento around 3 p.m. and complete three circuit laps before finishing in front of the Capitol Building between 3:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.

The race’s original schedule called for only one complete circuit, but due to the change in course the addition circuits were added.

(Copyright 2011 by CBSSan Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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