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Riders in the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic Coca-Cola Road Race make their way to Silverton.

The riders are off

The 44th Annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic has begun.

All riders have left their respective starting points, and they are headed points north – to Purgatory or Silverton.

The weather was a potential factor, given the forecast for rain and snow on various parts of the course. Race Director Gaige Sippy said he made the decision about 4:30 a.m. Saturday to head for the hills.

“I talked to Colorado State Patrol and we have our contacts up in Silverton, then I looked out my window and looked up and said, ‘They’ll be sunny skies,’ and the guy in Silverton looked up and said,...