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Baltimore looks to host UCI one-day road race

Baltimore could become the next U.S. city to host a major international road race

Baltimore, Maryland could become the next U.S. city to host a major international road race.

On Thursday the Baltimore Business Journal reported that the two Maryland state agencies are working with longtime race organizers Medalist Sports to bring a major one-day road race to Baltimore in 2020. Organizers hope the race becomes part of the new UCI ProSeries, the designation that will launch in 2020 and take the place of the current HC designation of events.

The race is slated for Labor Day weekend in 2020.

Terry Hasseltine, executive director of Maryland Sports, said the decision to pursue the event was being driven by “demand in our cycling community.” Hasseltine estimated the cost of the event at $1 million.

The event would mark a return of 1.HC-level road racing to the United States after a lengthy absence. The most recent race to hold such a distinction was the Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, which held the ranking until 2012 and then disappeared after 2016. The San Francisco Gran Prix, which ran from 2001-2005, also held UCI 1.HC status.

The 1.HC designation refers to major one-day road races that are just below the WorldTour level. The events often blend WorldTour teams with local UCI Continental and UCI Pro Continental teams. There are currently 22 1.HC races on the UCI calendar, including Belgium’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Scheldeprijs races, and France’s Paris-Tours, among others.

Organizers are eyeing Baltimore’s historic Inner Harbor for the parts of the course. From 2011-2013 the area hosted the Baltimore Grand Prix, a stop on the international IndyCar racing circuit. The event disappeared after organizers failed to secure a title sponsor.

Hasseltine told the journal that organizers plan to learn from the mistakes of that event in their planning of the bike race.

“We learn from every experience we embark on to learn best practices and how to make things more effective and efficient, as well as experience friendly,” Hasseltine told the Business Journal in an email.