Maryland Cycling Classic Set to Return for Third Edition on September 1, 2024
October 5, 2023
All major indicators increased in year two including spectators, viewership and sponsorship support
BALTIMORE, Maryland (October, 2023)/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – The Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealthcare, will return for its third year on September 1, 2024, it was announced today. Recognized as America’s top-ranked road cycling race and highest-ranked UCI event, the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic was embraced by fans, including an estimated 80,000 spectators and almost 800,000 viewers of the livestream. The third edition will again include four-days of family-friendly activities centered on health and wellness next Labor Day weekend.
“We’re thrilled with the results of the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic, especially the increased level of spectator and community engagement,” said Terry Hasseltine, President of the Sport & Entertainment Corp. of Maryland, the event’s owners. “Every major indicator showed an increase, marking an important year for growth in year two. This sets us up for a great event in 2024, and we look forward to building on this year’s success.”
Following a hugely successful inaugural event, the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic surpassed every major milestone in year two. Media impressions went up 200% year over year, while the livestream viewership increased from over 100,000 in 2022 to nearly 800,000 in 2023. The second edition of the Maryland Cycling Classic also elevated its broadcast with a helicopter film crew capturing all the action and broadcasting out to viewers in 76 countries. The regional over the air broadcast was bolstered through a partnership with Maryland Public Television, which aired a record six hours of live broadcast, which included five hours of the race and 30-minute preview and post shows.
Sponsor support escalated with 36 total sponsors up from 21 in 2022, highlighted by UnitedHealthcare, Human Powered Health, 4 Cornerstones Foundation, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Kelly Benefits, RxBenefits, Visit Baltimore, and the state of Maryland.
“We had a strong roster of public and private partners for the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic” said John Kelly, the event’s chairman. “Fantastic partners from outside Maryland invested in the event alongside several institutional partners with headquarters in Baltimore or Maryland. With support from the state of Maryland, City of Baltimore, and Baltimore County, we were able to elevate the entire weekend with impact at both the community and experiential level while sending a postcard of our state and its attractions to the world.”
The field of cyclists continued to be strong with six World Tour and Tour de France squads at the start line. The elite field of more than 110 cyclists included America’s top-ranked American Neilson Powless, who placed second in the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic. The event also attracted several Tour de France stars, including fourth-place finisher Simon Yates, stage winner Patrick Lafay, and former Tour de France stage winner Hugo Houle, who finished third in the Maryland Cycling Classic. Race winner Mattias Skjelmose, one of the sport’s rising stars and 2023 winner of the prestigious Tour de Suisse, broke away to cross the finish line first on a sweltering day that hit temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The athletes had positive things to say about America’s biggest race.
“I could feel the support (of fans) the whole way around the circuit, even out in the countryside,” said Powless, who was greeted with a noticeable huge cheer from the finish-line crowd in downtown Baltimore that was estimated at 25,000. “It was an awesome setting. I hoped to win this year but I am happy with the podium. It was fun to interact with the American fans because I don’t get to do that at any other point in the year. I was really proud to have the opportunity here and feel that love the whole way around the course.”
“I always love racing in the United States, and would even like to see them add another day,” said Latvian Toms Skujins, who finished fifth after a fourth place in the 2022 race. “This is one of the best produced races we race all year. And the course is a true classic.”
The 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic offered fans four days of free, family-friendly community events over Labor Day weekend. The weekend kicked off with school visits in Baltimore and Baltimore County, including a bike giveaway to local students, compliments of presenting sponsor UnitedHealthcare, and helmets from Specialized. A school program featuring bike and helmet safety curriculum was executed in 12 schools as part of the educational outreach of the event.
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum, one of the top African-American museums, was the backdrop for the event’s welcome reception, which honored African-American trailblazers in the sport from Major Taylor at the turn of the 20th Century, to modern-day heroes Nelson Vails (Olympic silver medalist), Rahsaan Bahati (10x U.S. National Champion), and Corey Williams (current co-owner of L39ion of Los Angeles), and a participant in the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic. The three were also part of a forum on ethnic diversity as well as honored with custom artwork that was unveiled during an unique night blending art, sport, and education.
As part of the community outreach, the Maryland Cycling Classic presented its second annual Community BIke Jam at Baltimore’s Patterson Park, which saw more than 300 people attend. Six stations were constructed, including an obstacle course, safe riding zone, and a 1.5-mile community slow-ride led by Olympians, which was presented by PNC Bank.
The Bridges of Hope charity ride, presented by Kelly Benefits, welcomed more than 150 riders and raised more than $150,000 for the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Fund, on the Saturday of race weekend. Participants were able to ride parts of the course the pros raced the next day.
The weekend of ancillary events culminated with the Team Introduction at Harbor Pointe. The event introduced all 16 teams in a fun-filled atmosphere for both spectators and VIPs in one of Baltimore’s beautiful locations along the Harbor.
Sanctioned by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) and USA Cycling, the Maryland Cycling Classic is managed by Medalist Sports, LLC of Peachtree City, Ga., and marketed and publicized by KOM Sports Marketing of Colorado Springs, Colo. The companies have been the industry leaders in producing professional road cycling events for the past two decades. The event is a production of the Sport & Entertainment Corporation of Maryland, led by Terry Hasseltine and Bob Sicard. The event chair is John Kelly, one of the principals at Maryland-based Kelly Benefits.
For more details and the latest updates, please visit marylandcyclingclassic.us. For images from the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic, click here. All photos courtesy of Maryland Cycling Classic. To be added to the distribution list for future announcements, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For sponsorship/partner information: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Katrina Younce, KOM Sports
+1 310-995-3619 | email@example.com
Graham Whaples, Maryland Sports Commission
+ 410-385-4671 | firstname.lastname@example.org