2024 Maryland Cycling Classic Postponed Amidst Baltimore Bridge Collapse

a group of people riding bicycles on a road with a crowd watching
2024 Maryland Cycling Classic PostponedMaryland Cycling Classic

The Maryland Cycling Classic, one of America’s remaining UCI events, will not take place this year. Race officials have postponed the event until 2025 due to complications from the March collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

baltimore's francis scott key bridge collapses after being struck by cargo ship
In an aerial view, the cargo ship Dali sits in the water after running into and collapsing the Francis Scott Key Bridge on March 26, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland.Tasos Katopodis - Getty Images

On March 26, 2024, a container ship lost power and collided with a supporting column of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. The crash resulted in the collapse of the bridge and a nearly paralyzed infrastructure system. Six fatalities were linked to the incident, and the city was left in turmoil.

While the race route did not involve the bridge, the decision to postpone the race was necessary and logical, though it does follow a string of other canceled events in the U.S. racing scene.

This year’s event would have been the third edition of the Maryland UCI 1 Pro race. Israel-Premier Tech’s Sep Vanmarcke won the race in 2022, and Lidl-Trek’s Mattias Skjelmose won last year. When the Labor Day weekend race debuted in 2022, “Brendan Quirk, the CEO of USA Cycling, hailed the event as the ‘most important bike race that’s happened in America in the last five years,’” reported Cycling Weekly.

The prestige of the Maryland race grew largely because of the numerous cuts U.S. professional cycling has sustained in recent years. We’ve seen the Tour of California men’s and women’s races canceled indefinitely, starting in 2020. Then, the Tour of Utah dissolved, followed by the Colorado Classic. Most recently, the National Cycling League halted their season amidst financial turmoil.

Velo reported that Terry Hasseltine, executive director of the Maryland Sports Commission and president of the Sport & Entertainment Corporation of Maryland, said, “[The postponement] is out of respect to what our community needs.” Race organizers are confident that the race will return in 2025 and hope to add a women’s race.

Just two UCI races remain on the U.S. calendar this year: the Tour of the Gila, a stage race in New Mexico now in its 35th year, and the Gran Premio in New York City.

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