Stage 2 Nevada City/Sacramento

Monday morning in Northstar dawned cold and snow covered again. The organizers decided to move the race start to Nevada City, on the other side of Donner Pass and about 4,200 feet lower in elevation to get out of the snow and ice conditions. This shortened Stage 2 by 60+ miles to 74 miles and eliminated the day's major climb over Donner Pass. Nevertheless, everyone was anxious to get started on our epic adventure. The stage consisted of a rolling descent for the 1st half of the day and then a flat  37 mile ride along elevated levees and by orchards and irrigation ponds into Sacramento. Our team had to make a 7 mile detour on a dirt & gravel road around Beale Air Force Base, which was closed to the public due to heightened security following the killing of Osama Bin Laden. The pro peloton received permission to follow the original course through the base so they missed the pleasure and challenge of the dirt road. 

J-F Courville launched himself over his handlebars today when his front wheel went into a gap between two planks on a wooden bridge. Fortunately, he and his bike were fine. Everyone stayed together as a group and despite one early wrong turn we made good time, averaging a little over 20 mph, and finished in plenty of time to go to the hotel, clean up and get back to the VIP tent at the finish line before the pro peloton roared into town for an exciting sprint finish. It was a great, albeit delayed, start to the week ahead.

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