Tour of California cycling race will start at Tahoe in May 2011 (w/ full schedule) |

Tour of California cycling race will start at Tahoe in May 2011 (w/ full schedule)

RENO, Nev. and#8212; The largest professional cycling race in the U.S. will start at Lake Tahoe for the first time next May.

AEG Sports president Andrew Messick says the 800-mile Amgen Tour of California will begin May 15 at South Lake Tahoe and end May 22 in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Carol Chaplin of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority says it’s a big deal for the local economy. She says it will put the lake on the map of “must ride” trips around the country.

Auburn is among the newcomers on the 15-stage route; also Livermore, Claremont and Mt. Baldy. The other stops are Sacramento, Modesto, San Jose, Seaside, Paso Robles, Solvang and Santa Clarita.

The first stage ends at Tahoe’s Northstar ski resort. Stage 2 starts at Squaw Valley USA, host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, before heading to Sacramento.

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