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Wet weather ahead for bike race

  • Mark Cavendish of HTC-Columbia, middle, out sprints Juan Jose Haedo of Saxo Bank at the finish line during stage 1 of the Tour of California, Sunday May 16, 2010. (Kent Porter / The Press Democrat) 2010

Thousands of cycling fans expected to celebrate the return of the Amgen Tour of California to downtown Santa Rosa today should bring their slickers or umbrellas.

The forecast, as of Sunday night, looked wet.

An eastbound storm was due in the North Bay at sunrise today, bringing cool temperatures, sustained 10 mph winds and about a quarter- to a half-inch of rain from showers falling into the evening.

Tour of California Stage 1

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The forecast left festival organizers in Santa Rosa disappointed but undaunted.

"Well we are still going to go forward. The cyclists are coming and we have a great festival planned," said Laneil Bryant, who is coordinating the event for the city.

Fans should don their rain gear and come anyway to watch the Stage 2 finish and enjoy the five-hour festival at Courthouse Square, she said.

Soggy weather the past two years prompted race organizers to move the 5-year-old event from February to May this year, hoping to catch Northern California's typically sunny disposition.

Sunday's ride, from Nevada City to Sacramento, was dry as British rider Mark Cavendish with the HTC-Columbia team captured the first stage.

On Monday, the riders will leave Davis at 11 a.m. pushing west and up into Napa County then down into Sonoma County. They are due into downtown Santa Rosa between 3-4 p.m.

They will meet the cool rain somewhere in the middle.


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