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Boulder May Change City Code For Bike Race

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The peloton enters downtown Denver during the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Aug. 28, 2011. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The peloton enters downtown Denver during the 2011 USA Pro Cycling Challenge on Aug. 28, 2011. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)- The city attorney for Boulder is scouring the city code to make sure competitors in this year’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge can cross the finish line on Flagstaff Mountain.

Currently, Boulder has an ordinance which bans competitive events on open space like Flagstaff Mountain. It states that space should be reserved for “passive recreation” and preservation of passive areas.

According to the Daily Camera, the city has turned down previous requests to hold competitive events on Flagstaff Mountain.

City Attorney Tom Carr told the council Tuesday night he believes the city manager can waive the rules without the council taking a vote but his officer and other city departments are looking for every rule which could affect the finish.

The Boulder stage of the elite race is set for August 25. It has the racers going through downtown Boulder, up Boulder Canyon to Nederland, across the Peak to Peak Highway, down South St. Vrain Canyon and up Lefthand Canyon before returning to Boulder.

From there, a climb up Flagstaff Mountain will send the racers across the finish line.

City spokesman Patrick von Keyserling told the Camera staffers are in the process of collecting all the permits needed for the race, not just for open space but also downtown.

An estimated 12,000 to 14,000 fans are expected to line Flagstaff Mountain for the finish and thousands more could watch the racers in downtown Boulder.

The chairman of the Open Space Board wants the city to explain why it’s okay for the Pro Cycling Challenge to use Flagstaff Mountain after other competitive events have been turned down.

Chairman John Putnam says he supports the race and he thinks the city can make a clear case for the exception, pointing out it is different because the finish is a small portion of a larger event and it goes through the open space on a paved road.

The co-chairman of the race’s local organizing committee says it’s common to need waivers for large events because every day rules aren’t written for special events.

Another councilmember said he was confident the problem can be worked because thousands of cars drive the road every day and the race needs to go forward as advertised.

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