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1. You know Flagstaff Mountain? Imagine biking up it. It’s possible that the USA Pro Cycling Challenge could just end there next year.

That’d be a big deal. Why? Well, to start with, Boulder’s pretty fired up about being on the route at all, as Brittany reported last week:

After being overlooked by race organizers this year, Boulder will be among the dozen Colorado cities to host the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge, officials announced Thursday.

Next year’s race is scheduled for Aug. 20 through Aug. 26, beginning in Durango and ending in Denver after some 520 miles of riding that includes five ascents of passes over 10,000 feet.

Race organizers Thursday unveiled the host cities in a press release, which shows the sixth of seven stages beginning in Golden and ending in Boulder.

But it’d also be a big deal because, well, it’s Colorado. Mountains are kind of our thing, as Tom Danielson told the Post.

“To be honest with you, we need in the tour of Colorado a stage finish that’s famous, that’s our Alpe d’Huez, the climb that everybody associates with the race and wants to keep coming back to see.”

Race organizers will determine the stage routes over the next two months. This year’s inaugural race did not have a finish atop a mountain.

2. As it turns out, yesterday’s top story was a story about 2011’s top stories. Look back on the year with us and remember the porta-potty peeper, the shrooming climber, naked sushi parties and all the rest!

3. Tweets of the day, starting with an amazing non-local one:

And locally:

And we figure we’ll keep seeing celebratory end-of-school tweets like yesterday’s for a bit here:

4. Speaking of year-end activities, local blogger and multitasker Grace Boyle‘s headed home for the holidays soon and shares her feelings on family and home — and home. Seems like a lot of us have more than one home now and it’s worth thinking about what that means — especially for those of you who are college students out here in Boulder.

I’ve got a couple of homes, too. To indulge myself just for a moment, one of my favorite stories about my own geography:

My parents came out to see me graduate in New York. Sitting in the audience, my dad noticed that the dean was calling out not just each graduate’s name, but also his or her hometown. I’ve lived in Boulder, suburban Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Boston and Naples, Florida.

My dad turned to my mom.

“I wonder where Dave’s from,” he said, and Dean Sree called it out: “From Boulder, Colorado, Dave Burdick.”

Took me about a year from that moment to get my ass back here.

Stories like Grace’s remind me of that week and the pressure I felt listing a hometown. It wasn’t exactly easy. Home is a really loaded concept, even for those of us who are a little more nomadic than others. Here’s Grace:

I’ve lived far from home for 7 years. I’m so close with my family, but part of that is allowing us to discover ourselves and our dreams, wherever they may reside.

That said, when I head home, the place I lived for 18 years of my life in a town of 10,000 I feel an overwhelming wave of nostalgia. I’m tickled. I feel warm inside seeing my best friends and we feel like children again, remembering our stories and memories – where to us, they never get old. It’s easy. Life is relaxed. Whether we’re running a restaurant, going back to school, managing marketing budgets, creating storyboards for films, or moving across the world, we pick up like we never left each others’ sides.

She starts by calling it a “place,” but she mostly describes it as something else. It’s a “wave,” it’s ticklish, it’s a “warm” feeling, it’s “relaxed.”

Home is a lot more than a place.

Well, that’s enough from me. Grace has invited readers to share their stories of family and tradition. Go on.

5. Morning music:

Atmosphere Ft. PH by G-Side