Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) wins the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic. (Photo Credit: Maryland Cycling Classic / Darrell Parks)

The Maryland Cycling Classic, presented by UnitedHealthcare, will return for its third year on September 1, 2024. Organizers announced that the top-ranked road cycling race in America drew an estimated 80,000 spectators and nearly 800,000 livestream viewers this year. 

“We’re thrilled with the results of the 2023 [edition], 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.”

Media impressions increased 200% year over year, while livestream viewership increased from more than 100,000 in 2022 to nearly 800,000 in 2023. The second edition also elevated its broadcast with a helicopter film crew capturing all the action and broadcasting to viewers in 76 countries.

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 elite field of more than 110 cyclists included 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 Victor Lafay, and former Tour de France stage winner Hugo Houle, who finished third in the Maryland Cycling Classic. Race winner Mattias Skjelmose, winner of the prestigious Tour de Suisse, broke away to cross the finish line first.

“I could feel the support (of fans) the whole way around the circuit, even out in the countryside,” said Powless. “It was an awesome setting. 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.”

The Bridges of Hope charity ride, presented by Kelly Benefits, welcomed more than 150 riders on the Saturday of race weekend and raised more than $150,000 for the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Fund.