Courtesy of Steve Brunner
- The new Maryland Cycling Classic has been added to UCI’s ProSeries calendar, starting in 2020. The current set date is September 6.
- Owned by the Maryland Sports Commission, the race will likely take place in the greater Baltimore area.
- Race organizers are looking to have the route approved by UCI by early next year.
UCI has released their ProSeries , revealing that the state of Maryland will play host to a new race called the . The race is currently scheduled for September 6, 2020. It’s approved to run for three years, every Labor Day weekend.
The Maryland Cycling Classic is owned by the Maryland Sports Commission. It was the commission, along with their partners, that submitted Maryland’s bid to UCI.
“We’ve been talking about big-time cycling in the state for a long time,” Terry Hasseltine, executive director of the Maryland Sports Commission, told Bicycling.
The Maryland Cycling Classic has been a collaborative effort between the Maryland Sports Commission and their partners, Visit Baltimore, Medalist Sports, and KOM Sports Marketing, along with support from USA Cycling.
“This new, one-day world-class cycling race will put an international spotlight on Baltimore with the race broadcasting on television worldwide. Not to mention, it will bring an expected 100,000 attendees to Baltimore each year. This is an impactful win for our city,” said Al Hutchinson, the president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, in a .
“On the year of our 100th anniversary, we’re excited to have another UCI race on U.S. soil where we can showcase our Olympic athletes after Tokyo,” said Rob DeMartini, the CEO and president of USA Cycling, in the . “Our goal is to grow the sport in the U.S.”
It’s a pretty big deal for the state and the East Coast in general. UCI’s ProSeries is just one step below their WorldTour series, which features races like the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. Pro cyclist Ben King noted in the that there hasn’t been “a big one-day race” with UCI in the U.S. for several years, since the 2015 UCI Road World Championships in Richmond, Virginia. The Maryland Cycling Classic will be the only one-day road race in the U.S. on for next year.
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“This is part of our big plan to identify opportunities to showcase our beautiful state, and what better way than the built-in, postcard-picturesque view [of] a cycling event,” Hasseltine said.
Because the race falls on Labor Day weekend, race organizers are planning on filling the whole weekend with festivities, such as “a Health and Wellness Festival with exhibits, bike and running participatory events, and community outreach programs,” as stated in the race’s .
Now that the race has been approved by UCI, the next step is for the organizers to determine the official route. Hasseltine and his partners are hoping they can start and end the race in downtown Baltimore. They’ll need to work on getting the city’s approval for the event, along with any permits they may need.
“We have a vision in our heads, and we’re seeing if it’s logistically sound to present it to the city as it pertains to permitting, and if it’s accessible,” Hasseltine said. “There are some really great circuits that we’re looking at.”
Hasseltine says they’re aiming to finalize the route in 60 to 90 days, then have it approved by UCI by early next year.