• Snow caused a delayed start to Stage 1 at the Amgen Tour of California in 2011 (Getty Images)
Friday’s Tour of California Stage 6 time trial has moved from Big Bear to Santa Clarita due to fears of snow and freezing weather conditions.
By
Cycling Central

15 May 2015 - 9:53 AM 

Tour of California broadcast details
The eight-stage Tour of California will be live on SBS in May! The race will also be live-streamed online at Cycling Central. The opening stages are a feast for the sprinters with Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step) and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) expected to race. Australia's Drapac Pro Cycling are also competing.

The Amgen Tour of California organisers determined that race day conditions at the Big Bear Lake would not be safe for riders or spectators attending the individual time trial.

The new course for the Stage 6 time trial is expected to be blistering fast. Riders will leave the start house in the Six Flags Magic Mountain parking lot and race 10.6km out and back. They will navigate a series of quick turns as they head out on The Old Road, revisiting roads used in past editions of the race. With no real elevation gain to contend with, this will be a quick and nail biting course with plenty of chances for a surprise victor.

“Everything about this course is primed to deliver fast, exciting racing,” said race director Jim Birrell.

“This is the day when the riders will be trying their best to sure up their positions, and where every second matters. On this fairly short course, the result is really anyone’s guess because there is room for a specialty rider to take the cake from the big hitters in the general classification. Either way, we anticipate a very aggressive attempt for the win.”

Riders have praised the Amgen Tour of California for putting a priority on safety.

As the race leader, Hincapie Racing's Tom Skujins will be the last to start the time trial. The Latvian holds an 18 second lead over Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) with the time trial expected to shake up the general classification.

Meanwhile at the Giro d’Italia, the Union Cycliste Internationale is working with event organisers to implement an extreme weather conditions protocol.

The protocol involves the compulsory convening of a meeting between event stakeholders, such as the race doctor and chief of security, riders, teams and the President of the Commissaires Panel, when extreme weather conditions are anticipated prior to the start of a stage.

The conditions that could lead to this meeting include freezing rain, snow accumulation on the road, strong winds, extreme temperatures, poor visibility and air pollution.

Depending on the type of conditions that may be encountered, possible courses of action include modifications of the start time, or start and finish venue, an alternative course, or neutralisation of all or part of the stage.