Truckee brainstorms for Amgen Tour

Riders head through Nevada City, Calif., at the start of the eight-day Tour of California cycling race Sunday, May 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Riders head through Nevada City, Calif., at the start of the eight-day Tour of California cycling race Sunday, May 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

TRUCKEE - The Amgen Tour of California is only a few months away, and locals are eagerly preparing to meet the tour's bombardment of spectators with a series of fitness and cycling events to highlight the town.

At a special tour planning meeting last Thursday - hosted by the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, town of Truckee and Truckee Downtown Merchants Association - residents gathered to brainstorm possible events for the town and listen to the most recent update about the tour.

Andy Chapman, tourism director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, gave a brief synopsis of the race's two stages, the first starting May 15 at Montbleu Resort Casino and Spa, wrapping the lake 1.5 times and ending at Northstar-at-Tahoe; and the second stage starting at Squaw Valley USA, going over Donner Pass and ending in Sacramento.

Speaking to business owners, Chapman encouraged events leading up to the race be used to highlight local businesses and to capture part of the eight-day tour's (May 15-22) more than $400 million in estimated community revenues.

Truckee's events will be part of a regional 10-day event list designed to maximize the economic impact of the race, Chapman said.

He added both the NLTRA and the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Tahoe's official tour organizing associations, are looking for hundreds of volunteers to serve as course marshals and are still looking for sponsors to assist with aspects of race management.

Les Pedersen, director of sales and marketing at the Resort at Squaw Creek - which is acting as tour sponsorship chair - said he sees the tour as a game-changing way to market the region as a cycling destination.

"An event of this stature can really be transformative," Pedersen said.

Lynn Saunders, the chamber's chief executive officer, said the turnout from business owners and residents during the night was phenomenal; depending on input, it will determine if a second meeting is necessary.

"We really want to get going and get our plans together as soon as possible," Saunders said.

During the night, residents brainstormed a volley of different ideas such as block parties, fun rides, bike clinics and a time trial up Donner Summit from Truckee.

Saunders said she will collect these ideas and others and have the chamber filter potentials to the NLTRA and LTVA for a final selection.

Those wishing to contribute Truckee event ideas can submit them to the chamber by calling 530-587-8808 or e-mailing

More information on the race can be found at www.tahoeamgentourof

Other events are in the works along Tahoe's North Shore, as officials from the Tahoe City Downtown Association and North Tahoe Business Association are meeting this month in a similar fashion. Tahoe City already has scheduled events for the tour, including a kick-off Cinco de Mayo party at the Blue Agave restaurant.


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