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Route closed due to fires on reservation

The Jefferson County segment of the much anticipated Cascade Cycling Classic has been canceled, due to the fires burning on the Warm Springs Reservation.

On July 16, locals would have been treated to front row seats at the finish line for the first segment of the six-part race, which would have taken cyclists from the Maupin area to Simnasho, Kah-Nee-Ta and Warm Springs, and on to Madras. The finish line for the first race was to have been at Friendship Park.

Instead, lightning sparked numerous fires on the reservation, and Warm Springs officials closed the major road that cyclists would have used on Monday afternoon, and race organizers scrambled to find another segment to replace the Jefferson County race.

Joe Krenowicz, executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, expressed regret that the prestigious event would not be passing through the county this year.

"It's very disappointing, but we can't control mother nature," he said. The race, based in Bend, is one of the top five races in the country for men, and the top race for women. Cyclists may accumulate points for USA Cycling teams, which feed into the Olympic cycling teams, according to Krenowicz.

"The event coordinator and organizer is looking forward to making it happen next year," Krenowicz added. "Chad Sperry indicated that the local community was very accommodating to make this event happen, and he'd like to bring it back next year."

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