Snow storm delays start of Tour of California

LOS ANGELES: An unseasonal snow storm forced the cancellation of the opening stage of the Tour of California Sunday.The race organizers delayed the original start time by almost three hours and agreed to shorten the 118.7 miles stage in the hope of getting underway if the severe weather conditions cleared up.The 18 teams and 144 riders even made it to the starting line and were a minute away from beginning the race when the stage was officially abandoned.”We were monitoring weather conditions up until start time, and we just couldn’t safely put the riders out on the course with the current forecast,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, the race owners.The eight-day event will now be held over seven days, starting Monday with a 133 mile (214km) ride from Squaw Valley ski resort to Sacramento.”We, the riders, are disappointed about not racing for the fans,” said American Levi Leipheimer, a three-time winner of the race. “But we agreed it was too risky in the ever-changing weather.” – Yahoonews