Tour of California races into South Lake Tahoe
Excitement started to build Monday afternoon when the lead riders in the Amgen Tour of California crested Carson Pass.
The crowd at the finish line for Stage 2 of the 14th annual event at Heavenly Mountain Resort’s California Lodge watched on massive big screens as the riders crept closer to Lake Tahoe.
An entire tent city was erected featuring booths for local and national businesses but everybody was watching the big screens when the race leaders crested Luther Pass and descended into Meyers.
Then it seemed like just a few moments passed and the riders flew down Pioneer Trail and turned right onto Ski Run where they made their final push to the finish.
Spectators lined the last 200 yards of the course and loudly pounded on the sponsor signs hanging on metal guardrails as the riders approached.
A quick chant of “USA, USA, USA” broke out as American Teejay van Garderen briefly grabbed control of the stage heading up Ski Run.
But at the line, van Garderen was beaten out for the stage victory by a couple of bike lengths by Denmark’s Kasper Asgreen, but he did grab the overall race lead after two stages.
Following the leaders finishing, an awards ceremony immediately followed the end of the stage while many riders were still on the course.
City Councilor Jason Collin, Sierra-at-Tahoe general manager John Rice and Black Bear Lodge’s Rachel Carlson handed out awards to the top finishers, including flower bouquets and jerseys.
The riders and their teams weren’t sticking around long. They had to drive several hours for tomorrow’s third stage that begins at 9 a.m. in Stockton and finishes in Morgan Hill.
The race concludes Saturday in Southern California.