Gallery: Scenes from America’s ‘Most Important’ Road Race

Won by Lidl-Trek’s Mattias Skjelmose The Maryland Cycling Classic hosted a truly world-class rider field

These young autograph seekers staked out a prime spot by the stage. I spoke with them ahead of the race and asked them who they thought would win. One of the picked Skjelmose and the other Powless - the eventual 1-2 finishers.
(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

The Maryland Cycling Classic, America’s top-ranked cycling race, returned on Sunday, September 3, with a stellar cast of riders.

With a podium of WorldTour riders, the UCI 1.Pro race attracts a truly international, world-class rider field to the United States for the first time since the last Amgen Tour of California in 2019. 

The Maryland Cycling Classic made its debut in 2022 debut with much anticipation. So much so that Brendan Quirk, the CEO of USA Cycling, lauded the race as the “most important bike race that’s happened in America in the last five years."

The inaugural race was won by Belgian Sep Vanmarcke (Israel-Premier Tech), and this Labor Day weekend fans were treated to another world-class battle with some of cycling's biggest names including Tour de France stage winner Victor Lafay (Cofidis), American polka dot jersey wearer, Neilson Powless  (EF Education-EasyPost) and Britain's Simon Yates (Team Jayco AlUla). After a hot and exciting day of racing, Danish national road racing champion Mattias Skjelmos (Lidl-Trek) soloed across the finish line in Baltimore. American climber Neilson Powless came in second and Canadian Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) finished in third.

Capturing the atmosphere at America's top-level bike race, here are some snaps from our reporter on the ground.

Victor LaFay of Cofidis got a loud cheer after his swashbuckling stage win at this year's Tour de France.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Skujins tells the crowd how to say his name (with a smile!). He was instrumental in the team's victory.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Simon Yates (fourth at this year's Tour de France) explaining to everyone that he's not Adam Yates and that this was actually his first time racing in the US. American Lawson Craddock is to his left.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Team EF Education-EasyPost, directed by Tejay van Garderen. EF had a plan to make the race hard for Powless, and executed it expertly.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Fan favorite Neilson Powless had plenty of people cheering for him in Maryland. It also happened to be his birthday on race day.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

The legs of Guillaume Boivin (Israel-Pemier Tech)

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Team USA was a composite team made up of riders from many different teams. Matteo Jorgenson of Movistar was their designated leader, and was one of the race favorites, but punctured right before the race hostilities started.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Team Medellin with the sharpest kits in the bunch.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Cory Williams of Legion of Los Angeles. Legion, a domestic pro team racing against the World Tour, raced impressively, with one rider in the early break and another finishing in the top ten.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

The Maryland state flag featured prominently throughout the day.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Simon Clark, Victor LaFay and Mattias Skjelmose on the start line. Riders seemed relaxed and excited to be racing in the US.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Americans Powless and Craddock having a chat at the start line after getting call-ups.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Riders roll out from the start line in Sparks, Maryland.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

tylerboucher tylerboucher 18:50 3 Sept Lidl-Trek used textbook team tactics to excellent effect in Maryland. Here Mattias Skjelmose and Toms Skujins recover after the finish.

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

Podium of the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic: Skjelrose (Lidl-Trek), Powless (EF-Education), Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) 

(Image credit: Tyler Boucher)

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