Skjelmose Wins Maryland Cycling Classic 2023
Denmark’s Matthias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek) won the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic following an intense day of racing on the 196.9-kilometer route.
By instigating a powerful attack on the tough route Skjelmose animated the race and caused the weaker riders to be flushed from the strongmen, leaving only the favorites to battle for the race victory.
While the front group was split and rejoined multiple times during the exciting finale of the race – thereby annulling the chances of existing participants but reinvigorating the chances of success for other riders who had previously been dropped – the group continuously featured multiple riders from the strong Lidl-Trek team who had the Maryland Cycling Classic as one of the big goals of the Fall season.
Beyond Skjelmose, noteworthy breakaway hopefuls in the front group included Lucas Hamilton (Team Jayco-Alula), Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost), Hugo Houle (Israel-Premiertech), Toms Skujins (Lidl-Trek), Mikkel Honore (EF Education-EasyPost), Simon Yates (Jayco-Alula), Riley Sheehan (Israel-Premiertech), and Pier-Andre Cote (Human Powered Health).
Skjelmose eventually escaped with Skujins and four other riders. Skujins then broke free in solo fashion, which allowed teammate Skjelmose to sit on the wheel of the other attackers and conserve energy for a final attack. Skjelmose later bridged the gap solo to Skujins, but with their advantage being only fifteen seconds, the chasers were able to catch the two front men.
Skjelmose launched his decisive attack approximately twelve kilometers from the finish line and won the 2023 Maryland Cycling Classic in solo fashion. Skjelmose is Danish National Champion.
American Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost) finished second after winning the sprint from a three-man runner-up group. Canadian Hugo Houle (Team Israel-PremierTech) completed the race podium.
“I’m really happy,” a smiling Skjelmose told Roadcycling.com after the finish. “I really like being here. This race is very important for our Lidl-Trek team and to win here and show such great teamwork is important for us. Taking the victory is really special for me.”
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