Denver Post Ride the Rockies Cycling Tour announced its June 13-18, 2021 route Wednesday.

This will be the ride’s 35th year as the ride was postponed in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions.

This year’s tour features the stunning roads of southwest Colorado, with the start and finish situated in Durango, one of the Centennial State’s most popular outdoor recreation and tourism destinations.

For the third year in a row, the Ride the Rockies route is a loop, simplifying logistics while taking riders on a breathtaking adventure around one of the most scenic areas in all of Colorado.

Besides Durango, other host communities along this 6-day, 418-mile clockwise tour include Cortez, Norwood and Ouray County.

Along the way are challenging uphill encounters with Lizard Head, Red Mountain, Molas and Coal Bank passes, which together account for the bulk of the route’s 28,484 feet of climbing.

The route rolls along the banks of the Animas River, winds through Southern Ute Tribal Land, climbs the Uncompahgre Plateau, and ventures deep (and high) into the San Juan Mountains.

This year’s route also includes a few forays off pavement and onto packed dirt roads, which means less time on busier roads and a little extra adventure.

“Access to trails, good weather and a bike friendly community are just a few reasons why Durango has more cycling national champions, world champions and Olympians per capita than anywhere else,” said Rachel Brown with Visit Durango. “We are excited to welcome back riders after a long year, to experience Durango’s world class cycling, hospitality and the stunning San Juan Mountains.”

Known for its beautiful vistas, Ride the Rockies has added a new host community, Norwood, which will be host to day three after cyclists have ridden 100 miles north from Cortez.

Also new this year will be two 1-day cycling options June 13 with a loop starting and ending in Durango and June 17, a loop starting and ending in Ridgway.

“For 35 years, Ride The Rockies has showcased some of the best places to visit, quaint back road towns, beautiful mountain passes and iconic landscapes. This year is no different. More than any other year, we are anxious to be back together and excited to support the towns hit hard by COVID. We are thrilled to welcome Norwood as a new host community and take riders to a new place we haven’t experienced as a tour,” said Ride the Rockies Tour Director, Deirdre Moynihan.

Serendipity Catering will be providing the breakfast and dinner for riders for the entire week. Sack lunches will be available for riders to order as well.

Jason Sumner, cyclist and author who helped design the course, said, “I’m truly excited to get back on the bike and be around fellow cyclists. This year’s route has a little bit of everything, high mountain climbs, quiet country roads, amazing scenery, and some great host communities. It’s definitely going to be a ride to remember.”

Ride The Rockies is a non-competitive event that’s open to cyclists of all ages.

Participants are encouraged to ride at their own pace. All registrations are on a first come, first serve basis, until the ride is sold out.

Proceeds from the event benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation and all the funds raised are returned directly to Colorado nonprofits.

Registration is open and a list of everything that the tour fee includes can be found on the website at https://www.ridetherockies.com/registration/.

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