The Tour Du Pont bicycle race will include Maryland after all.
Officials announced today that the race, previously known as the Tour de Trump, will finish a 130-mile stage in Columbia on Saturday, May 11.
Elite cyclists from around the world depart Newark, Del., at 9:30 a.m. and race 136 miles through the rural Maryland towns of Rising Sun, Port Deposit, Conowingo, Forest Hill, Butler, Gamber, Winfield, and Glenelg en route to the finish in Howard County. The world-class field will be chasing $300,000 in cash and prizes as well as the prestigious yellow leader's jersey.
"We are extremely excited about finishing a stage in Howard County," said Michael Plant, president of Medalist Sports. "The state of Maryland is beautiful and this race will showcase it for national television cameras."
CBS Sports and ESPN combine to chronicle the event daily. CBS Sports will telecast shows on May 12 and 19, both at 2-3:30 EST. In addition, the race from Newark to Columbia will be broadcast to 88 nations around the world.
The event had to be moved out of Baltimore because organizers for the Tour Du Pont came up with a date that conflicted with Preakness Week activities.
"We are very thankful for the efforts of Mike Marqua and quite a few others at the state level," Plant added. "Combined with the support of Howard County administrators and the Rouse Company, we were able to keep the event in Maryland. And to be honest, we are glad to be able to be within driving distance for those spectators that enjoyed the race last year."
The 1991 Tour Du Pont is May 9-19. The 1,100-mile course starts and finishes in Wilmington, Del., and passes through Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The race features a field of 126 cyclists, including pre-race favorites three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond of Wayzata, Minn.; PDM's Erik Breukink of Holland, who placed third in the 1990 Tour de France; Team Motorola's Steve Bauer of Canada, who wore the Tour de France leader jersey for 10 days last year; and Coors Light team's Alexi Grewal of Boulder, Colo.