Maryland Cycling Classic gallery: One-day race enjoys successful debut after years of delays

Sep Vanmarcke won the inaugural edition of the race, his first victory in three years

After being delayed twice due to COVID-19 restrictions, the inaugural Maryland Cycling Classic finally took place at the weekend.

The one-day event is the top-ranked road race in the U.S. and was a rare opportunity for homegrown talent to face off against the top pros in the peloton. Sep Vanmarcke (Israel-Premier Tech) took a long-awaited win on the streets of Baltimore after edging out Nickolas Zukowsky (Human Powered Health) in a dash for the line.

With a tough, undulating course, the debut Maryland Cycling Classic was always going to be a difficult day out for the bunch.

Also read: Sep Vanmarcke triumphs at inaugural Maryland Cycling Classic

Aggressive racing saw a breakaway of 25 riders push clear of the pack early on, but a surge in pace saw that cut to just 14 with just over half of the race remaining.

Despite its best efforts, the peloton never saw the breakaway again and it would be one of the escapees that came away with the victory. The leading group continued to shed riders on the final circuits around Baltimore thanks to repeated attacks with just five riders making the final selection.

Vanmarcke took a chance and went early in the sprint but he just held off Zukowsky to take the win.