Grand Junction group seeks to host USA Pro Cycling Challenge stage
The National Park Service won’t allow the USA Pro Cycling Challenge to hold part of a stage in Colorado National Monument.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The USA Pro Cycling Challenge won’t be going through Colorado National Monument in 2013, as the National Park Service once again denied a request by a local organizing committee to use the monument for part of a stage in popular race.
According to a post on the Grand Junction local organizing committee’s Facebook page, the group submitted a third request to use four miles of road in the monument — from the Glade Park turnoff to the east entrance — as part of a Grand Junction-based stage.
Local organizers persisted in their efforts to route at least part of stage through the monument for several reasons — the monument has a legacy of cycling from the Coors Classic days, said John Hopkins, co-chair of the local organizing committee.
“We tried very hard to meet their concerns,” Hopkins said, explaining that latest application focused on a short stretch of road through the monument considered to be a public right-of-way.
Organizers believed the route could be used without harming park resources or the visitor experience, but, in the end, couldn’t convince the park service.
Hopkins said the group will now prepare a bid that showcases some of the other highlights of the Grand Valley area, perhaps included a route that would take cyclists over the Grand Mesa, a spectacular flat-top mountain that towers over the Colorado River Valley.
Some of the area’s famed orchards and vineyards could also serve as a backdrop to a stage that would showcase sprinters in a time trial, he said. Continue reading
Filed under: biking, Colorado, events, recreation | Tagged: Colorado National Monument, Grand Junction Colorado, National Park Service, National Parks Conservation Association, USA Pro Cycling Challenge | Leave a comment »