The Maryland Cycling Classic returns on September 3, 2023 as a much-needed boost to U.S. domestic road racing.
The men's only UCI 1.Pro race is one of just three remaining UCI road races in the U.S., along with the Joe Martin Stage Race and the Tour of the Gila. The race looks to continue the success from the previous year with four days of events culminating in the pro race.
Today, race organizers announced the first of 17 teams competing for the win of what will be the biggest, high-level race in America this year. WorldTour teams Trek-Segafredo and E.F. Education Easypost are set to return for a second year, where they will face competition from the best domestic teams, including Human Powered Health, Novo Nordisk, Legion of Los Angeles and Hagens Berman Axeon, one of the top U23 development teams in the world. More international competition will come from teams like Toronto Hustle from Canada and Team Medellin-EPM from Columbia, the latter of which is currently the second-highest-ranked continental team in the world.
In the first edition of the Maryland Cycling Classic, the stacked field, consisting of 111 riders from 27 different nationalities, was tasked with a 196-kilometer undulating race course that eventually came down to a three-man sprint won by Sep Vanmarcke (Israel-Premier-Tech). Several WorldTour teams attended, including Trek-Segafredo, Bike Exchange- Jayco, Israel-Premier-Tech and E.F. Education- Easypost. This was the first race of this caliber hosted in the U.S. since the Amgen Tour of California.
The debut race received high praise with the CEO of USA Cycling, the governing competitive body for racing in the U.S., calling it "a godsend" in a time when road racing is struggling in the U.S.
"This race represents a reversal of the latest trend of disappearing U.S. road events, which I know is greeted with pleasure and hope by the overall community," agreed Robin Carpenter, who competed at the race last year for Human Powered Health and will return this fall as part of L39ion of Los Angeles.
"Last year's course delivered a surprisingly difficult and dynamic race that caught many racers by surprise and led to an exciting finale throughout the packed streets of downtown Baltimore. I'm looking forward to seeing even more spectators out on course and more racers targeting the event as a goal."
With the recent success of several young Americans in the WorldTour peloton, the Maryland Cycling Classic is well-placed to showcase this rising talent. Nielson Powless, last year's third-place finisher is enjoying a stellar season with two wins already and top-10 finishes at the Tour of Flanders and Milan San Remo. Another returning rider is Coloradan Quinn Simmons. The Trek-Segafredo rider won the King of the Mountains jersey at the inaugural Maryland Cycling Classic but said he was unsatisfied with that result.
"It's a great event for me and I return with high motivation. I'm not satisfied with the result from last year, so hopefully we'll be back in the fight for the top step of the podium this year," he said.
More details such as this year's course and a full schedule of events are scheduled to come at a press conference on May second at the Baltimore visitors center.
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