The Tour of the Moon will not rise again, at least not in the Quiznos Pro Challenge. The U.S. Parks Service on Monday denied a request to hold a stage in the Colorado National Monument, near Grand Junction.
The regional manager of the monument had previously denied the request. National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis reaffirmed that decision Monday.
Last month U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sent a letter to the park service asking for a meeting on the request. The two said “If the Monument is able to responsibly host the event while protecting its natural and cultural resources, we believe that showcasing this majestic area as part of this world-class cycling event will bring beneficial commerce and attention to this important part of the state.”
Jarvis said no go.
“Closing the park to accommodate the needs of a commercial bike race goes against our management policies, would adversely impact park resources, and would deny access to the park to other visitors,” Jarvis said in a statement released Monday. “Federal law and NPS policy restrict commercial activities in national parks to those that are ‘necessary and appropriate’ to park purposes. This bike race is neither necessary nor appropriate in the park.”
A stage through the monument, nicknamed the Tour of the Moon, featured in at least editions Coors Classic and in the Kevin Costner flick “American Flyers.” A circuit through the monument also has been used for amateur races.