Race set for return to Maryland Hagerstown is stop on Tour DuPont

October 22, 1992|By From Staff Reports

The Tour DuPont cycling race will return to Maryland in 1993, again cutting along the northern part of the state with a road race from Wilmington, Del., to Hagerstown as the third stage of the race, on May 8.

It will run through Harford County, although race organizers said they won't announce which roads the race will follow until details are cleared with local police, sometime early next spring.

The race -- set for May 6 to 16 -- begins in Wilmington for the fourth straight year and includes several cities and resorts that have been on the course since the tour began five years ago. But for the first time it will take racers south of Richmond, Va. The 1993 route goes through Blacksburg, Va., into the Appalachian Mountains in Boone, N.C., and will end in Greensboro, N.C.

The tour will receive 14 hours of coverage on ESPN. The network will carry nightly tape-delayed reports from 6:30 to 7 p.m., immediately before SportsCenter. On Sunday, May 16, the telecast will run from midnight to 1 a.m.

"The commitment by ESPN certainly underscores the growth of the event," the race's executive director, Michael Plant, said in a release. "Because of the nature of the event, we feel the tape-delay telecasts are perfect to chronicle the tour."

The race, always known for its varying terrain, will offer more of the same in 1993. It begins with a flat road race form Dover, Del., to Wilmington. A team time trial will be held later that night through the streets of Wilmington.

For the next two days, cyclists will compete over the rolling countryside of northern Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania.

There will be an auto transfer from Harrisburg, Pa., to Front Royal, Va., where the riders will climb the Blue Ridge mountains.

But the most challenging ride will be on one of the new stages: the steep trek from Blacksburg, Va., to Beech Mountain, N.C. The 5,050-foot summit finish at Beech Mountain Resort will be the highest elevation climbed in five tours.

The 11-day event will be approximately 1,100 miles long. For the first time, there will be no circuit races, only road races and time XTC trials. The cyclist with the lowest accumulated time over the 11 stages is the overall winner.

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