Sep Vanmarcke, left, holds off Nickolas Zukowsky and Neilson Powless to win the inaugural Maryland Cycling Classic. (Photo: Maryland Cycling Classic/KOM Sports Marketing)

The Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealthcare, America’s top cycling race and highest-ranked UCI event, has announced the participation of two World Tour teams currently participating in the Tour de France – TeamCofidis and Astana Qazaqstan Team – for the September 3, 2023 race.

“The Maryland Cycling Classic continues to attract elite teams as it enters its second year,” said Terry Hasseltine, President of the Sport & Entertainment Corp. of Maryland. “The addition of two teams currently competing in the Tour de France gives the event and our civic and corporate partners tremendous momentum heading toward race weekend. It’s a boost for American cycling and its fans.”

Other World Tour pro cycling teams confirmed for the event are Lidl-Trek and EF Education-EasyPost, both of the US; Israel-PremierTech; and Australia’s Jayco-AlUla.

“We’ve confirmed one of the most competitive and electric fields assembled in the US in a long time, which is a testament to the leadership and support of SECMD and its private and public partners,” said Chris Aronhalt, President of Medalist Sports, the event management group responsible for most of the top professional cycling races over the past two decades. “The rolling hills of Baltimore County and downtown circuit of Baltimore city provide the perfect backdrop for this world-class event.”

The Maryland Cycling Classic is part of the prestigious UCI Pro Tour and is already one of the top-ranked events in North and South America. Other previously announced teams include: Human Powered Health, Corretec-Selle Italia, Team Novo Nordisk, L39ION of Los Angeles, Hagens Berman Axeon, Toronto Hustle, Team Medellin-EPM, Team Skyline, Project Echelon, and a composite team from USA Cycling.

Israel-Premier Tech’s Sep Vanmarcke, who won the inaugural Maryland Cycling Classic race in 2022, recently retired and will not defend his title this year. American rider Neilson Powless, the EF Education-EasyPost rider who finished third in last year’s Maryland Cycling Classic, is expected to return and is currently wearing the King of the Mountains jersey for the best climber in the Tour de France.

Sanctioned by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) and USA Cycling, the Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealthcare is marketed and promoted by KOM Sports Marketing of Colorado Springs, Colo. The event’s chairman is John Kelly, president of Sparks-based Kelly Benefts Strategies.