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Professional cycling is coming to Maryland.
The inaugural 110-mile, single-day Maryland Cycling Classic, set to take place in Baltimore September 5, 2021, has already confirmed five strong teams.
UCI WorldTeams Trek-Segafredo and Team BikeExchange headline the confirmed squads so far. Joining them are American ProTeam outfit Rally Cycling and Continental teams Aevelo and Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling.
With a dearth of American races in recent years, most prominently the Tour of California folding after the 2019 edition, the Maryland Cycling Classic helps to fill the void.
“We’re super excited to participate in the Maryland Cycling Classic,” said Steven de Jongh, head sports director of Trek-Segafredo. “At the moment there aren’t a lot of races in the USA, and as an American team it’s really important for us to be there on the start line.”
The Classic’s positioning as one of the most prominent American races this year should attract strong riders as well.
“I’m thrilled to take part in the first edition of what is sure to become a legendary event in the cycling world, and I feel very lucky to be racing the Maryland Cycling Classic as a member of an American pro team,” said former U.S. national road race champion Ben King of Rally Cycling.
For Continental teams, this is a chance for riders to prove themselves against some of the world’s best. “We’re coming to win the Maryland Cycling Classic,” said Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling team director Danny Van Haute. “We believe we have two or three riders that could win it.”
Like many other cycling events in 2020, especially in the United States, the race’s inaugural edition had to be postponed due to the global pandemic. “After the challenges of postponing last year’s first edition due to the pandemic, it’s exciting to look forward and start introducing some of the world’s top teams into the event,” said Maryland Cycling Classic chairman John Kelly.
Other events for fans will be scheduled around the race as well, including a charity ride, exhibition and symposium, outdoor health and wellness festival among other events. Details on those events, along with other teams, will be announced in the following months, say race organizers.