To avoid the sinkhole on U.S. 24, the route for first day of the three-day Children’s Hospital Courage Classic charity bike ride has changed.
Instead of sending the 2,400 cyclists over Tennessee Pass on Saturday, the 43-mile route circles around Turquoise Lake on County Road 4. It continues to the Fremont Pass on Highway 91, with a lunch stop scheduled at Copper Mountain.
Cyclists can opt to continue on the 55-mile challenge route that stretches from Copper Mountain to the summit of Vail Pass and back.
“Our riders and our volunteers, I think they understand that this is an act of Mother Nature and it’s really beyond our control,” spokeswoman Tina Garbin said. “We’re still going to have a great weekend despite the sinkhole.”
The sinkhole appeared on July 9 on the shoulder of U.S. 24 and will close the highway for the next month.
Ashley Mohr , a spokeswoman with Colorado Department of Transportation, said the roadblock has been extended to a 4-mile stretch of U.S. 24 due to an increase in construction vehicles this week.
The road is closed halfway between Leadville and Red Cliff near the summit of Tennessee Pass from mile markers 162 to 166.
The sinkhole should be filled and U.S. 24 reopened by Aug. 23 when Stage 4 of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is scheduled to race over Tennessee Pass.