Group takes Quiznos race plea to top: Ken Salazar

Talk that the head of the Interior Department denied a proposal for a professional cycling race to traverse Colorado National Monument hasn’t completely deterred local race organizers.

Local organizers for the 2012 Quiznos Pro Challenge, who twice had proposals denied by other U.S. Park Service officials, have requested that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar weigh in personally, said John Hopkins, a member of the local organizing committee attempting to route a stage race through the monument.

“We have not heard anything directly from his office,” Hopkins said. “There’s been a request for him to look at this, and we’ll see what happens once we’ve got that.”

Hopkins received an email recently from Park Service official John Wessels saying Salazar is in agreement with staff members over the denial.

Wessels, the regional director of the intermountain region of the Park Service, met with members of the local organizing committee in Grand Junction a few weeks ago to discuss a second, pared-down proposal for the race to traverse the monument.

Wessels, at that time, said allowing a professional race on Colorado National Monument would create a precedent among all of the parks in the Park Service network.

He deferred the decision to Park Service Director John Jarvis, who later denied the proposal.

Hopkins said he can provide more information about the direction the local organizing committee plans to take with its proposal after hearing directly from Salazar.


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