Simon Yates (Team Jayco AlUla), Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) and Victor Lafay (Cofidis) lead a list of top performers from this year’s Tour de France who will compete in the second edition of the Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealthcare, in two-and-a-half weeks.
Organisers of the UCI ProSeries one-day men’s race confirmed a solid list of riders who are expected to compete among the roster of 16 invited teams on September 3. A total of five WorldTour teams will compete across the 121.9-mile (196km) route that starts in Sparks, Maryland and finishes with circuits in Baltimore’s famous Inner Harbor.
Last year’s fourth-place finisher Toms Skujins returns with Trek-Lidl alongside teammate Giulio Ciccone, who won the mountains classification jersey at the Tour de France in July, as well as Mattias Skjelmose and Tony Gallopin. Neilson Powless, the third-place finisher last year, returns for EF Education-EasyPost alongside Julius van den Berg and Mikkel Frølich Honoré.
“I’m happy the race is back for another big year. 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,” said Powless, who was the top US rider at the Road World Championships in Scotland, 11th place.
“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.”
Lining up with Briton Simon Yates from Jayco AlUla will be US Olympian Lawson Craddock and Australians Chris Harper and Simon Clarke, the latter a multiple Grand Tour stage winner and Chris Juul-Jensen. Like Cofidis, Astana Qazaqstan makes their inaugural appearance at the Maryland Cycling Classic and will be led by rising Kazakhstan star Yevgeniy Fedorov, the 2022 U23 Road Race World Champion.
Four ProTeams will be part of the competition – Israel-Premier Tech, Corratec-Selle Italia, Human Powered Health and Team Novo Nordisk. The early roster for Israel-Premier Tech includes two more Canadians – 2022 Tour de France stage Hugo Hule and this year’s breakout rider from the Giro d’Italia Derek Gee, who finished second on four stages. Maryland-native Scott McGill will ride with Canadian teammate Adam de Vos for Human Powered Health.
Also confirmed are six Continental teams, led by an all-star cast from L39ION of Los Angeles, who will bring former U.S. National Champion Kyle Murphy, Belize National Champion Cory Williams and Tour of Alberta GC winner Robin Carpenter. Hagens Berman Axeon features Michael Garrison and Cooper Johnson, while Project Echelon Racing will be led by Tyler Stites. Riders from Team Medellín-EPM, Team Skyline, Toronto Hustle and a USA Cycling National Team will be forthcoming.
International broadcast coverage of the Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealthcare will be provided by GCN+, with exclusive live streaming rights from race start to finish. The partnership with GCN+ provides non-exclusive rights in the US, plus highlights packages on GCN+ and Global Cycling Network’s free-to-air YouTube channel.
The regional US broadcast partner is Maryland Public Television, which 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 and former pro cyclist Bobby Julich, who won a silver medal for Team USA at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. A year later, he made history as the first US rider to win Paris-Nice.