Tour of the Moon returns to monument

The Tour of the Moon is back.

This time it’s a single-day bicycle tour scheduled for Oct. 6 and includes a Fruita loop. The official name of the event is the Icon LASIK Tour of the Moon Hell of the West Cycling Classic.

Colorado-based Event Marketing Group LLC and Rocky Mountain Events Inc. are organizing the event. Denver-based Icon LASIK is the title sponsor. Icon LASIK sponsored the sixth and final stage of the 2011 USA Cycling Pro Challenge.

The Tour of the Moon originally was a 23-mile stage race over Colorado National Monument for the Coors Classic (1980–88) with qualified professional riders. The marketing groups had the name registered with the state of Colorado.

“I think it’s a great time for it and a great market to return the Tour of the Moon,” co-event director Scot Harris said. “We felt it was important to use the name to describe the course as far as the scenery. Our goal with the event was to reintroduce the Tour of the Moon as a recreation ride.”

The for-profit organization, which puts on other small-caliber events in Colorado, had to agree to several conditions to ride over the monument and wasn’t allowed to get the permit for the summer peak season, April 1 to Oct. 1.

“We had multiple meetings with event organizers to evaluate what they wanted to do and to make sure that the tour did not violate the provisions of 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 2.50, National Park Service 2006 Management Policies, and NPS Director’s Orders 53 (Special Events),” Monument acting superintendent Michelle Wheatley wrote in an email to The Sentinel. “We’ve had many different cycling tours come through the Monument and we look forward to welcoming the new tour in October 2012.”

Cyclists enter on the East Entrance and go through the monument once. The aid stations had to be in specific locations, and the road had to remain open for the public.

Cyclists can choose the classic Tour of the Moon 41-mile course or the extended “Tour of the Moon and Fruita Too” 62-mile/100-kilometer course. Both courses will start and finish at Two Rivers Convention Center in downtown Grand Junction. The route is not officially finalized.

Registration for the event is $110 per person with $10 going to the Colorado Riverfront Commission and Bicycle Colorado’s Grand Valley-area community programs.

Registration will open sometime after Feb. 1 online at http://www.tourofthemoon.com. The ride is capped at 2,000 cyclists.


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