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7 riders to watch at the Maryland Cycling Classic

VeloNews selects the key riders to keep an eye on ahead of this weekend's race.

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The 2022 Maryland Cycling Classic, set for September 4, sees a host of WorldTour names heading to the US for the biggest single one-day race on the men’s US domestic road scene.

Trek-Segafredo, EF Education-EasyPost and Team BikeExchange-Jayco have all sent powerful teams to compete for the win, while the home-based charge is lead by L39ION of Los Angeles, Human Powered Health and a United States squad of home-grown riders.

VeloNews has hand picked 7 riders to watch ahead of the race.

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Toms Skujiņš
Age: 31
Team: Trek-Segafredo

A three-time winner of Tour of California stages, Skujiņš forms part of a powerful Trek-Segafredo squad that incudes Quin Simmons and Tony Gallopin. Skujiņš, who has re-signed with Trek-Segafredo, has found some post-Tour de France form with a recent top-tens in San Sebastien and Bretagne Classic – Ouest-France. If the race becomes overly selective then Skujiņš is well-suited to creating breaks or going solo. Some of his best results have come on US soil, so he will be especially motivated for the weekend.

Michael Matthews
Age: 31
Team: BikeExchange-Jayco

Matthews’s prep for the world championships starts here with the versatile Tour de France stage winner lining up in Maryland before taking on the double header of the two Canadian WorldTour race. Dylan Groenewegen has also made the trip and with the team desperate for UCI points in order to save its WorldTour status we can expect a determined effort from the Australian team. Matthews travels well and can turn on the form for one-day races, so he should be in the mix at every race he starts from here until the end of the season. He’s an outside bet for winning in Maryland and then taking both Quebec and Montreal later in the month.

Scott McGill
Age: 23
Team: United States

With two stage wins at the Tour of Portugal McGill has put himself front and center on the market for a big move in 2023. According to sources a number of second tier teams are interested in his services for the coming season but a strong showing on home roads, and against WorldTour riders will provide the former Aevolo rider with another chance to test his sprint mettle against heavy hitters. McGill, currently on the books at Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling, has been likened to Tyler Farrar by his US director Mike Sayers, so the young sprinter is certainly a rider to keep tabs on this weekend and beyond.

Giacomo Nizzolo
Age: 33
Team: Israel-Premier Tech

Israel-Premier Tech’s quest for WorldTour survival looks like a lost cause at this point. With Michael Woods out of the Vuelta and Dylan Teuns not up to speed there has been on consistent points flow for the majority of the season. Nizzolo has picked up just one win since joining the team but with Maryland and the Canadian races on his schedule he at least has the chance to give his team a glimmer of hope. His support race for Maryland looks decent enough but the Italian needs to capitalize on the next few weeks, even if it’s just to save his own campaign.

Magnus Cort
Age: 29
Team: EF Education-EasyPost

He might not be listed on the current start list issued by the race organizers but trust us, Magnus Cort will be on the start line this weekend. The Dane lines up at the leader for the EF Education team and after winning a stage of the Tour, and then pulling out due to COVID, he’s found some form with a string of top-tens in his native Tour of Denmark. The team will work for Cort, who strangely hasn’t won a one-day race since 2017. Like most of the WorldTour teams on the startline, EF is desperate for points in the hunt for WorldTour survival. Keep an eye out for Neilson Powless, too. He hasn’t raced since the Tour de France but could be a feature if the race explodes in the first half.

Dušan Rajović
Age: 24
Team: Team Corratec

The Slovenian national road and time trial champion heads to Bahrain Victorious next year in a move that will finally see the 24-year-old strutting his stuff on the WorldTour stage. He’s an underrated rider and one that could cause a few surprises in Maryland if the race comes down to a bunch sprint. His last outing in the US came all the way back in 2015 when he raced the world championships as a junior but since then he’s forced a respectable career within lower tier races. This is a major opportunity to announce himself on a global stage ahead of his big transfer.

Kyle Murphy
Age: 30
Team: Human Powered Health

(Photo: Casey B. Gibson)

Human Powered Health arrives with a really strong roster, and while there are better sprinters within their ranks we’re picking the US national champion Kyle Murphy as our rider to watch. Canadian national road champion Pier-André Coté is also in the mix, alongside Arvid de Kleijn, Colin Joyce and Robin Carpenter, so there’s real depth to the team. Murphy’s win earlier in the summer, however, was a major breakthrough for a rider who has been on the cusp of something special for a number of years. Wearing the stars and stripes on home roads, and in the biggest US domestic road race of the year, will surely be a major boost in confidence come the weekend.