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June 13, 2013
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Royal Gorge fire pushes day 6 of Ride the Rockies off Highway 50

Fire along U.S. 50 west of Cañon City has forced a last-minute reroute of Stage 6 of The Denver Post Ride The Rockies Bicycle Tour.

Today’s ride will begin in Salida as was planned, but cyclists now will travel through the towns of Westcliffe, Wetmore and Florence before heading north to and end in Cañon City.

The tour also will shuttle cyclists who are concerned about riding in heavy smoke into Cañon City.

“The health and safety of our cyclists is our top priority,” race director Chandler Smith said. “Based on all available information, we believe this new route offers cyclists a strong stage while minimizing potential health risks.”

Riders had expected to pedal over the Royal Gorge Bridge, which was damaged by the Royal Gorge fire, a 3,100-acre wildfire that is only 20 percent contained.

Smith said the route change avoids U.S. 50, which has been closed since the fire began Tuesday.

“The alternate route allows us to continue on to Cañon City as planned with hopes of providing an uplifting experience for the community during this unfortunate time,” Smith said.

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The Summit Daily Updated Jun 15, 2013 09:42AM Published Jun 15, 2013 09:43AM Copyright 2013 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.