Plans continue for the inaugural edition of the 1.Pro Maryland Cycling Classic supported by UnitedHealthcare, as organisers confirmed the first five teams for the September 5 race.
WorldTour teams Trek-Segafredo and Team BikeExchange will be joined by ProTeam Rally Cycling and U.S. Continental teams Aevelo Pro Cycling and Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling when the event kicks off on American Labor Day weekend.
“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 Ben King, two-time stage winner in the Tour of Spain who races professionally for Rally Cycling.
“I love one-day races because they are all or nothing. Plus, the event is close to home for me so my friends and family will be able to attend. It's like we have a home-field advantage, and it will be an excellent opportunity to engage with our fans.”
The one-day UCI race was originally slotted into the 2020 calendar but was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and rescheduled for this fall.
“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, of Kelly Benefit Strategies. Kelly, who previously sponsored the team that is now Rally UHC Cycling, has strong ties to both the cycling community and Baltimore business community.
“Trek-Segafredo and Team BikeExchange are already off to great starts in some of the world’s best races this year. Rally Cycling will be bringing its top guns and the U.S. pro Continental Teams will be hungry to perform in what is now America’s top one-day pro cycling event.”
The US calendar was wiped clean of racing last year. This year, the Maryland Cycling Classic is one of five UCI events in the US, and the only one-day road race for men.
“We’re super excited to participate in the Maryland Cycling Classic. 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,” said Steven de Jongh, head sports director of Trek-Segafredo.
“GreenEDGE Cycling is excited to return to the United States of America for the Maryland Cycling Classic in September. We have achieved many notable victories at races in the U.S. and we will travel to Baltimore with big ambitions,” said Team BikeExchange Chairman Darach McQuaid.
“It’s an important race for our team and we are honored to be there and represent our team's colors in the best way possible. North America is an important market for our partners and also for the bicycle industry. We truly hope this event will keep growing and Team BikeExchange can contribute to its growth in the years to come.”
Route details have not been confirmed to be the same as planned last year with the start to be in Baltimore County and finish in the City of Baltimore. In 2020 organisers expected to have as many as 10 WorldTour teams at the race, and regardless of that number the event itself is a welcome platform for domestic squads.
“We’re coming to win the Maryland Cycling Classic,” said Danny Van Haute, team director of Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling. “It will be one of the biggest of the events of the year for us. We believe we have two or three riders that could win it.”
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