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Snow cancels Yukon-Alaska bike race for 1,300 riders

For the first time in 25 years, the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay has been cancelled - unexpectedly due to snow, 'black ice and slushy sections.'

'It would just not be safe,' says race coordinator

Snow in Haines Junction, Yukon, has cancelled the 25th-annual Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay. (Submitted by Dan Reimer)

The 25th-annual Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay has been cancelled due to snow at the starting line, affecting about 1,300 riders who were set to begin the race Saturday morning.

This is the first time the race has been cancelled.

"The race was cancelled because not only snow and slush in the upper elevations in the summit legs, but right here in Haines Junction at the start," said Mike Kramer, race coordinator.

Snow covering bicycles in Haines Junction, Yukon. (Submitted by Justine Scheck)

"The road report is saying black ice and slushy sections; there is a travel advisory in effect for driving vehicles, so certainly in terms of riding bikes — especially racing bikes — it is totally out of the question."

The one-day race covers 240 kilometres.

Ninety-three solo riders signed up for the race, with the remaining riders working in teams of two, four, or eight riders.

About 250 volunteers helped organized the event.

"Those kinds of numbers are outweighed by the safety situation," Kramer said.

"It would just not be safe."

Kramer said the race will be postponed until next year.

However, the salmon supper will go ahead as scheduled at the Southeast Alaska State Fair grounds in Haines, Alaska.

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