Some of the biggest stars from this year’s Tour de France and recent World Championships were announced as participants in the preliminary rosters for the second edition of the Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealthcare, a 121.9-mile (196km) race from Sparks, Md., to Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbor, September 3rd.
Great Britain’s Simon Yates (Jayco AlUla), fourth place finisher in this year’s Tour de France and former Vuelta a España winner headlines a strong field of 112 of the world’s top cyclists representing 16 elite teams. Canada’s Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) and France’s Victor Lafay (Cofidis), both stage winners at this year’s Tour de France; along with Tour KOM jersey winner Giulio Ciccone of Italy (Lidl-Trek) and the top-ranked American Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), the third place finisher in last year’s race; and Latvia’s Toms Skujins (Lidl-Trek), 8th place at this year’s World Championships and fourth overall in last year’s Maryland Cycling Classic, were announced.
“I'm happy the race is back for another big year,” said Powless, who recently placed 11th as top-placing American at the World Championships. “Last year, the race was really exciting. It seemed to open up from the get-go, and we tried to make it pretty hard as a team even after the front split got away. Being able to race around downtown in a major city like Baltimore was fun. I spent the days before the race walking along the waterfront and eating good food -Mexican, seafood and sushi - all things I miss when I'm in Europe. So, I'm really looking forward to being back to compete in America’s biggest race again.”
Additional highlighted riders to watch for from the WorldTour and Pro Tour teams: Australia’s Simon Clarke (Jayco-AlUla), a former stage winner at Tour de France and Vuelta a España; Denmark’s Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek), the 2023 Denmark National champ and Tour de Suisse champion; Canada’s Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech), a 2022 Tour de France stage winner; France’s Tony Gallopin (Lidl-Trek), a former Tour de France and Vuelta a España stage winner; former U.S. National Time Trial champion and Olympian Lawson Craddock (Jayco-AlUla), Australia’s Chris Harper (Jayco-AlUla), 16th place in this year’s Tour de France; Denmark’s Chris Juul-Jensen (Jayco-AlUla), a former Tour of Demark and Tour de Suisse stage winner; Canada’s rising star Derek Gee (Israel-Premier Tech), four-time stage runner up at this year’s Giro d’Italia; Denmark’s Julius van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost), a former stage winner at Tour de Romandie and Tour of Poland and Mikkel Frølich Honoré, a past top five finisher in Tour of Britain and Tour of Poland; rising Kazakhstan star Yevgeniy Fedorov (Astana Qazaqstan), the 2022 Under-23 World Champion and current Asian Time Trial champion; Colombian Fabio Duarte (Medellin-EPM), a former U23 World Champion; and ’22 Vuelta a Colombia champion; the ageless Spaniard Oscar Sevilla (Medellin-EPM), who has won multiple Vueltas a Colombia and this year was second overall at New Mexico’s Tour of the Gila; and Ireland’s rising star Darren Rafferty (Hagens Berman Axeon), fifth place finisher in the recent U23 2023 World Championships time trial in Glasgow, Scotland.
Notable North Americans, include: Robin Carpenter (L39ion of Los Angeles), a former Tour of Alberta overall winner and Tour of Utah and USA Pro Challenge stage winner; former U.S. National Champion Kyle Murphy (L39ion of Los Angeles); Belize National Champion Cory Williams (L39ion of Los Angeles); Washington D.C. area’s Sam Boardman (L39ion of Los Angeles); Maryland-native Scott McGill (Human Powered Health), a two-time Tour of Portugal stage winner; Canadian three-time National Champion Guillaume Boivin (Israel-Premier Tech); Canada’s Pier-Andre Cote, the current Pan American road race champion; former Canadian National Champion Adam de Vos (Human Powered Health); Americans Michael Garrison (Hagens Berman Axeon), a former U23 U.S. National Champion; ’22 U23 U.S. National Champion, road race Cooper Johnson (Hagens Berman Axeon); and Tyler Stites (Project Echelon), 2022 and 2023 winner of the Redlands Bicycle Classic.
“This is going to be one of the most exciting fields to watch on American soil since 2019,” said Medalist Sports President Chris Aronhalt, the race’s event manager. “The strong mix of talented teams will surely provide a dynamic race from the rolling hills to the city center of Baltimore.”
The race is produced by Sport & Entertainment Corp. of Maryland led by Terry Hasseltine. The event’s chairman is John Kelly of Kelly Benefits. KOM Sports Marketing of Colorado Springs is the sponsorship, marketing and communications agency. Medalist Sports of Peachtree City, Ga., are the event managers. Regional broadcast partner Maryland Public Television will offer live race coverage starting at 11:30 am through 5 pm on MPT-HD and the MPT live stream. The statewide public TV network's broadcast will be hosted by Sports Desk Anchor Jim Hunter, who will be joined by Bobby Julich, former professional international race champion and United States Olympic silver medalist.
For updated information or to volunteer, please visit www.marylandcyclingclassic.us.