Tour of California considering dates with better weather
CLOVIS -- First Lance Armstrong twittered, suggesting that the Amgen Tour of California have its date moved to a better weather month, April. Now Patrick McQuaid, president of the International Cycling Federation (UCI), has suggested that might happen.
The Tour of California has been hit with not-unexpected wintry weather during the last two years -- it's February after all -- and McQuaid said Wednesday that other dates are being discussed.
"I believe a change of date might be better for the race," McQuaid said. "It's important for the UCI, important for American cycling, important for world cycling that this event continues to grow and succeed and we need to examine what is best.
"While this tour has been blessed before with some good weather, this year it hasn't, plus the weather at this time of year places constraints on other possible routes. Even today we were told there was a risk on the final climb. We were told cars needed chains. The route was cleared but it was in danger of being lost."
AEG Sports President Andrew Messick, who is in charge of the race, said the Tour of California would be happy with a date in "June, May, April or February." When Armstrong twittered about April, he also suggested an April date might make the California tour an attractive option for riders training for May's Giro d'Italia.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Amgen Tour of California spectators use umbrellas to protect themselves from the rain as the peloton climbs through the Petrified Forest during Stage 1 on Feb. 15. Credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images